One of the most popular music genres is called Country music, also often known as Western music. It originated in and was popularized by rural Southern and Southwestern American states. The genre is uniquely known for having accompaniments of string instruments like guitars and banjos.
Country music also often consists of simple lyrics and a harmonious ballad or dance tune. As the genre evolved throughout the years, there are now two general classifications of Country music: the Old and the New.
A Brief History: Old Country Music
In the early to mid 20th century, the Country or Western music genre emerged from the folk music brought upon by immigrants. It was believed the Americans’ craze over the genre started in the 1920s. And it was first recognized to come from the state of Tennessee. Hence, the state is known as the “birthplace of country music.”
Old Country Music’s Greatest
Since country music utilizes string instruments, one of the earliest and most popular country artists is a string band called “The Skillet Lickers.” The members were Gid Tanner, Riley Puckett, Clayton McMichen, and Fate Norris. These four men were already making music individually even before the band was put together. They popularized “hillbilly” music—a term we do not use anymore in today’s time.
James Charles ‘Jimmie’ Rodgers is another well-known artist in the Country music genre. As a matter of fact, he is called the “Father of Country Music.” His single with the title ‘Blue Yodel #1’ sold over a million copies worldwide. Country music was embraced and loved by everyone. It was not only an “American” thing anymore.
And of course, there is also the legendary American singer-songwriter Bill Monroe. Bluegrass music was a subgenre under Country music that he invented. The subgenre was named after Bill’s second band, the Blue Grass Boys.
The Evolution Of Old Country Music To New Country Music
Like all things in the world, music also undergoes a developmental process called evolution. With more instruments being invented and more complex sounds, beats, and tempo being produced, music changes without a doubt.
That holds true for country music. Even though country music is relatively new, having been only created in the 20th century, the evolution the genre has gone through is very influential.
While “New” country music still uses string accompaniments, you could tell there has been a crossover between country music and other music genres. Modern country music now engages with different popular trends. There is a more artistic style, and lyrical concepts are more profound.
Artists Known For New Country Music
When it comes to modern country music, Shania Twain’s name is the most distinguished. She is the best-selling female artist in the genre. On the other hand, Garth Brooks earned his keep as one of the most prominent male country music artists. Other notable new country musicians include Blake Shelton and the band Rascal Flatts.
In recent times this 21st century, country music is kept alive by some pop artists such as Bebe Rexha, who collaborated with famous country music singer Florida George Line.