Country Music’s Impact on American Culture

The rise to prominence of the genre of Country music is not only significant to the music industry. But it also holds impeccable value to American culture, history, and tradition.

As Country music was generally created and popularized by the Southern and Southwestern parts of the United States, music critics and historians dub the genre “America’s greatest musical gift to the world.”

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson | Country Music Hall of Famer

Country Music: How It Came To Be

Country music already existed in the 17th century, but there was no actual term for the genre yet. When it was brought to America in the 20th century by European and African immigrants, the historical event gave birth to the genre we now know as Country.

The geographical location of the “birthplace” of country music has also allowed the genre to be sometimes referred to as Western music. The immigrants brought stringed instruments with them, which helped create the beats, rhythm, melody, and tempo for the genre.

The genre of country music continuously evolves, and there are now different subgenres under it. It was greatly enjoyed by the Southern people and became well-known over the entire United States then worldwide.

Country Music: The Melting Pot Of Musical Genres

When immigration became a thing, one of the most popular countries to migrate to was the United States of America. Hence, the country is generally regarded as a melting pot. A melting pot is a term referring to the fusion of cultures from the integration of different nationalities. The same expression is used to describe Country music.

As Country music has evolved from blues and folk music and was brought by immigrants, it is regarded as the melting pot of genres of music. There is no same style of music under the genre. So what makes it significantly tied to the American culture, besides it being popularized by the Americans?

Country music’s American heritage is deeply embedded in the lyrics. The lyrics of most country songs are straightforward and pure. But they all tell a story, specifically American life. That is the part of country music that makes it very American.

For the United States citizens, country music screams home and patriotism. It has become an integral part of American household. They listen to country songs in their homes, on their way to work, etc.

But even though country music first started in rural areas, it has made its way to urban communities. Eventually, dominated the world too.

Famous Country Songs Describing The American Way Of Life

  • ‘Take me Home, Country Road’ by John Denver is West Virginia’s state song. It is about the myths and legends surrounding the state.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus is an influential singer-songwriter in Country music. He sang the classic country song called ‘I’m American.’
  • Billy Ray’s daughter, pop star Miley Cyrus, is also recognized in the country music genre for her modern country-pop song ‘The Climb.’
  • ‘Ragged Old Flag’ is another legendary patriotic song sung by the one and only Johnny Cash.
  • Kacey Musgraves ‘Dime Store Cowgirl’ is also a country song not to be missed.