We’re all fond of the charming beat and groove of country music. When we hear it we’re reminded of old times when happy people in a happy neighborhood sat back in relaxed contentment. We visualize a stately man with his cowboy boots and hat, strumming away with his guitar.
Where It All Started
Country music in its earliest form first materialized in the folk culture of the British Isles. As immigrants and African slaves came, the elements of the British fiddles mixed with gospel hymns and ethnic sounds. These reached the Southern Appalachian region and were widely played with fiddles and homemade banjos since then.
The 1920s saw the spread of country music throughout America. The first ever radio performance of country musicians aired in 1922. In the same year, Victor Records released the first commercial country record by Eck Robertson. The first national country hit, the “Wreck of the Old ‘97” by Vernon Dalhart, stunned America in 1924.
The 1930s was a difficult time for America. With the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, country music was an escape into the good old Wild West. World War II turned things for the worse and people of the America needed the country music’s comfort all the more.
In 1927, Victor Records signed what turned out to be the two most influential country acts ever – Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. This era marked the permanent entrenchment of country music as one of the most loved music genre.
Jimmie Rodgers is widely referred as the “Father of Country Music”, bets remembered by his million-selling hit “Blue Yodel #1”. The Carter Family was the first country music group, composed of A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Doughtery Carter, and his sister-in-law Maybelle Addington Carter. Their hits “Keep on the Sunny Side” and “Wildwood Flower” are still listened by many up to this day.
Since its early formative years, country music evolved into a genre with influences from jazz and blues and sounds of modern instruments like electric guitars. What remains is the laid-back and relaxing feel. With acts like country singer Justin Moore and the likes, country music definitely has a long way to go.