Folk Music from the British Isles
African American Folk Music
Commercial music from the 18th century:
The Dawn of country radio and records (20’s)
The first country performance on the radio is dated from 1922, quickly followed by the first barn dance radio as radio’s executive started to see a market in the rural audience. These early variety shows, geared towards family gathering, provided a living for country’s entertainers throughout the nation, while becoming a vital part of listener’s lives.
Companies in the North began seeking talent in country, blues and folk-based idioms. They recorded fiddlers, stringbands and “hillbilly” music as they realized that country music could sell, as proven by the hits of Jimmie Rodger and the Carter Family in 1930. The first country stars were born.
The western influence (mid 30’s)
If “hillbilly” was loaded with negative cultural stereotypes, by contrast “cowboy” implied romance, bravery and the self-sufficiency of life on the open range. So cowboy hats and and boots became parts of many performers’ wardrobes. They played a sang their fantasy version of the West, a new kind of New Deal cowboy.
Nashville and Hollywood barn dance
By the 40’s, radio was widespread and TV broadcasting started to become more popular and featured performances from barn dances. Some became nationally famous, such as Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and several through out California, where more people were moving to. It lead to the development of recording studios in Nashville and LA.
New sounds in the jukebox
Let’s have a party! (50’s)
The Nashville Sound
The Return of Hard Country (60’s)