Country musicalso known as country and western or simply countryand hillbilly musicis a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early s. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms, folk lyrics, and harmonies mostly accompanied by string instruments such as banjoselectric and acoustic guitarssteel guitars such as pedal steels and dobrosand fiddles as well as harmonicas.
According to Lindsey Starnes, the term country music gained popularity in the s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music ; it came to encompass Western musicwhich evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the midth century. In in the United States, country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres.
The origins of country music are found in the folk music of working class Americanswho blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, cowboy songs, and the musical traditions of various groups of European immigrants.
Immigrants to the southern Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America brought the music and instruments of Europe along with them for nearly years. Country music was "introduced to the world as a Southern phenomenon. Congress has formally recognized Bristol, Tennessee as the "Birthplace of Country Music",  based on the historic Bristol recording Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer of Before these, pioneer settlers, in the Great Smoky Mountains region, had developed a rich musical heritage.
The first generation emerged in the early s, with Atlanta's music scene playing a major role in launching country's earliest recording artists. During the second generation s—sradio became a popular source of entertainment, and "barn dance" shows featuring country music were started all over the South, as far north as Chicago, and as far west as California.
During the s and s, cowboy songs, or Western music, which had been recorded since the s, were popularized by films made in Hollywood. Bob Wills was another country musician from the Lower Great Plains who had become very popular as the leader of a " hot string band ," and who also appeared in Hollywood westerns. His mix of country and jazzwhich started out as dance hall music, would become known as Western swing. Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electric guitar to his band, in Gospel music remained a popular component of country music.
Another type of stripped-down and raw music with a variety of moods and a basic ensemble of guitar, bass, dobro or steel guitar and later drums became popular, especially among poor whites in Texas and Oklahoma.
It became known as honky tonkand had its roots in Western swing and the ranchera Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer of Mexico and the border states. By the early s a blend of Western swing, country Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer, and honky tonk was played by most country bands.
Rockabilly Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer most popular with country fans in the s, and could be called the year of rockabilly in country music, with Johnny Cash emerging as one of the most popular and enduring representatives of the rockabilly genre; rockabilly was also a starting point for eventual rock-and-roll superstar Elvis Presleywho would return to his country roots near the end of his life.
Beginning in the mids, and reaching its peak during the early s, the Nashville sound turned country music into a multimillion-dollar industry centered in Nashville, Tennessee ; Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves were two of the most broadly popular Nashville sound artists, and their deaths in separate plane crashes in the early s were a factor in the genre's decline.
The late s in American music produced a unique blend as a result of traditionalist backlash within separate genres. In the aftermath of the British Invasionmany desired a return to the "old values" of rock n' roll. At the same time there was a lack of enthusiasm in the country sector for Nashville-produced music. What resulted was a crossbred genre known as country rock. Fourth generation s—s music included outlaw country with roots in the Bakersfield soundand country pop with roots in the countrypolitanfolk music and soft rock.
During the early s country artists Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer to see their records perform well on the pop charts.
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In a style of "neocountry disco music" was popularized. During the mids a group of new artists began to emerge who rejected the more polished country-pop sound that had been prominent on radio and the charts in favor of Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer traditional "back-to-basics" production; this neotraditional movement would dominate country music through the late s and was typified by the likes of George Strait.
Attempts to combine punk and country were pioneered by Jason and the Scorchersand in the s Southern Californian cowpunk scene with bands like the Long Ryders and Mojo Nixon. During the fifth generation scountry music became a worldwide phenomenon. Two types of artists enjoyed mainstream popularity: The Dixie Chicks became one of the most popular country bands in the s and early s. The sixth generation s—present has seen a certain amount of diversification in regard to country music styles.
Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer influence of rock music in country has become more overt during the late s and early s. Hip-hop also made its mark on country music with the emergence of country rap.
The first commercial recording of what is widely considered to be the first country song featuring vocals and lyrics was Fiddlin' John Carson with " Little Log Cabin in the Lane " for Okeh Records in June 14, Vernon Dalhart was the first country singer to have a nationwide hit in May with " Wreck of the Old 97 ".
Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family are widely considered to be important early country musicians. Their songs were first captured at a historic recording session in Bristol, Tennesseeon August 1,where Ralph Peer was the talent scout and sound recordist. Rodgers fused hillbilly country, gospel, jazz, blues, pop, cowboy, and folk, and many of his best songs were his compositions, including "Blue Yodel",  which sold over a million records and established Rodgers as the Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer singer of early country music.
Record sales declined during the Great Depressionbut radio became a popular source of entertainment, and "barn dance" shows featuring Brooks adams intrigue thug hammer music were started by radio stations all over the South, as far north as Chicago, and as far west as California.
WSM's 50,watt signal in could often be heard across the country.