Dr. Dina Bennett, senior curator at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, said country music can trace its roots back to 17th-century slave ships, where captors made Africans bring instruments from their homeland.
Country music originated in the early twentieth century among working-class Americans living in the south, especially in the Appalachian Mountains. Generations of musicians had blended English ballads with Celtic and Irish fiddle songs, adding influences from various European immigrants who settled nearby.
One Saturday night in 1927, DeFord Bailey stepped up to the microphone during a country music radio show in Nashville, put a harmonica to his lips and began imitating the sounds of rushing locomotives.
Charley Willis and his wife, Laura, in the late 1800s. Willis is credited with the original version of the classic cowboy song “Goodbye Old Paint.”
First generation (1920s)
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 on June 14, 1923.
Country was given its name to suggest that it was the music of rural America. The city had music like classical, jazz, big band, and rock and roll. Then there was the music of the countryside, country music.
The Class of ‘89: How Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Travis Tritt changed country music. Country music’s storied “Class of 1989” was led by the meteoric rise of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Travis Tritt. Together, they are responsible for 64 No. 1 country hits.
Country rock arose from the conviction that the wellspring of rock and roll was the work of 1950s and ’60s regionalists such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and George Jones, as well as, to some extent, that of the Carter Family and Flatt and Scruggs and other artists who had blossomed in local folk and bluegrass scenes …