A Brief History of Country
Classic Country Music Artists & Videos
Country music has been being played for nearly a century and it coalesced as a genre in Atlanta in the 1920s, as Appalachian natives migrated to the city – bringing their unique form of music with them. Since then, it has evolved in a multitude of directions, re-incarnating as honky tonk, bluegrass, western music, christian folk and today’s pop country. Here, for your edification, is a list of some classic country music artists, as well as videos of their beautiful music.
Kitty Wells: “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”
Kitty Wells was one of country music’s first female stars – she wooed audiences with her hit “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” in 1952. Its success made her the first women ever to top country music charts, and her career inspired a whole generation of female country artists.
Hank Williams: “Lovesick Blues”
Hank Williams died just one year after Kitty Wells released her break-out hit. He is considered one of the most influential country artists of all time, and released eleven billboard number one hits before destroying his life with pills, alcohol and morphine. Wish you hadn’t gone so soon Hank.
Jonny Cash: “Walk the Line”
Maybe pills and the bottle go hand-in-hand with country music. Or maybe haunted singers have the most soul. Either way, Jonny Cash also wooed audiences with his soul wrenching crooning.
Dolly Parton: “Jolene”
Dolly Parton has had too extensive of a career to be considered solely a country artist, but she started out as one, and later in her career she went back to her roots – recording a country/bluegrass album. Parton is the definition of prolific; she’s written over 3000 songs and has made 100 million in record sales – making her one of the most successful female artists of all time.
History of Country Music
Country music came from the hills of Appalachia and first started gaining national popularity after the depression – when no one could afford records, so the majority of music was broadcast via radio. Patsy Montana changed the scene with her 1935 song,”I Want To Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” which made her the first female country singer to have a million-selling single. This opened the metaphorical door for other women to have have successful solo careers, a previously unknown phenomenon. It was also around this time that country legend Hank Williams rose to fame, though his self destructive tendencies led to beautiful music and an untimely death. In the ’50s the rockabilly style of country music become popular with Elvis, the aforementioned Jonny Cash and Carl Perkins all singing hits. Country music never lost popularity – it just became poppier in the ’70s and has continued in that direction. Fun fact: country music stations are some of the most listened to on commutes and with a great crop of female country singers like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, it’s a safe bet that ladies wil be rocking the country scene for decades to come.