country and western music

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country and western music,

American popular music form originating in the Southeast (country music) and the Southwest and West (western music). The two regional styles coalesced in the 1920s when recorded material became available in rural areas, and they were further consolidated after musicians from various sections met and mixed during service in World War II. The primary traditional difference between the two styles is that country music is simpler and uses fewer instruments, relying on guitar, fiddle, banjo, and harmonica, whereas the music of the Southwest tends toward steel guitars and big bands whose style verges on swing (e.g., The Light Crust Doughboys). Bluegrass, exemplified by Bill MonroeMonroe, Bill
(William Smith Monroe), 1911–96, country singer, musician, and songwriter, often called the "father of bluegrass," b. Rosine, Ky. A mandolin and guitar player, Monroe founded the Blue Grass Boys in 1938, and the group began playing country and western music
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, is a style of country and western music traditionally distinguished by a driving, syncopated rhythm, high-pitched vocals, and an emphasis on the banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. Progress bluegrass will also use electrified and other nontraditional instruments and employ styles and songs derived from other forms of music.

Country and western music is directly descended from the folk songs, ballads, and popular songs of the English, Scottish, and Irish settlers of the U.S. southeastern seaboard. Its modern lyrics depict the emotions and experience of rural and (currently) urban poor whites; they often tell frankly of illicit love, crime, and prison life. Over the last 50 years country and western music has gained a nationwide audience. Since 1925 the "Grand Ole OpryGrand Ole Opry,
weekly American radio program featuring live country and western music. The nation's oldest continuous radio show, it was first broadcast in 1925 on Nashville's WSM as an amateur showcase.
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," a Saturday night performance featuring country and western singers, has been broadcast weekly from Nashville, Tenn.

Many of the musicians have been influenced by African-American blues (see jazzjazz,
the most significant form of musical expression of African-American culture and arguably the most outstanding contribution the United States has made to the art of music. Origins of Jazz

Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent.
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) and gospel musicgospel music,
American religious musical form that owes much of its origin to the Christian conversion of West Africans enslaved in the American South. Gospel music partly evolved from the songs slaves sang on plantations, notably work songs, and from the Protestant hymns they
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, but the performers and audience are almost all white. Leading performers include Jimmy Rodgers, the Carter FamilyCarter Family,
group of singers that specialized in traditional music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains; it consisted of A(lvin) P(leasant) Carter, 1891–1960, b. Maces Spring, Va.; his wife, Sara (Dougherty) Carter, 1898–1979, b. Flatwoods, Va.
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, Hank WilliamsWilliams, Hank,
1923–53, American country singer and songwriter, b. near Georgiana, Ala., as Hiram Williams. He is widely regarded as the leading figure in the history of country music (see country and western music).
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 and his son, Tex Ritter, Chet AtkinsAtkins, Chet
(Chester Burton Atkins), 1924–2001, American country guitarist, singer, and record company executive, b. Luttrell, Tenn. Part of a musical family, he played fiddle and guitar as a youngster and performed professionally while still a teenager.
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, Patsy ClineCline, Patsy,
1932–63, American country singer, b. Winchester, Va., as Virginia Patterson Hensley. She began singing locally while still in her teens and signed her first recording contract in 1953, but did not become well known until after the release of her first hit,
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, Johnny CashCash, Johnny,
1932–2003, American singer and songwriter, b. Kingsland, Ark. Born to a farm family, he went to Memphis in 1955 and recorded such hits as "I Walk the Line" (1956) and "Ring of Fire" (1963); the latter was written with his second wife, singer June Carter Cash
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, June Carter-Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Loretta LynnLynn, Loretta,
1935–, American country singer and songwriter, b. Butcher Hollow, Ky. One of the most successful singers in modern country music, she has a distinct voice and a style reminiscent of earlier traditional country singers.
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, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Charlie Rich, Dolly PartonParton, Dolly,
1946–, country singer, songwriter, and actress, b. Sevier County, Tenn. Among the most popular country singers of the 1970s and 80s, Parton is known for her Nashville-style flamboyance, talent for self-parody, and intelligent and witty approach to popular,
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, and Willie NelsonNelson, Willie,
1933–, American country singer, guitarist, and songwriter, b. Abbott, Tex. Nelson began playing professionally at 10 and joined a western swing band as a teenager.
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. In the 1960s and 70s, country and western music significantly influenced the development of rock music. Since then, it has undergone a national revival with performers such as Ricky Scaggs, Garth Brooks, the Judds, Tanya Tucker, and Reba McEntire achieving great popularity.

Bibliography

See B. C. Malone, Country Music USA (1968); P. Hemphill, The Nashville Sound (1971); C. Brown, Music USA: America's Country and Western Music (1985); K. Sparkman, A People and Their Music (2000); D. Jannings, Sing Me Back Home: Love, Death, and Country Music (2008).

References in periodicals archive ?
1 singles, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 11 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, among countless others.
The latter part of 2006 has seen the release of several great books focusing on the History of Country Music and all things related.
They were a nonissue,'' says Scott Lindy, director of country music programming for Sirius Satellite Radio.
THE INDIGENOUS AMERICAN art form of country music is frequently slandered, shunned, and mocked.
In a biography titled DeFord Bailey: A Black Star In Early Country Music, by David Morton with Charles Wolfe (University of Tennessee Press, $27.
A depot where country music fans will meet for social network gaming and community interaction.
s premier entertainment and hospitality agency, in conjunction with Visit Myrtle Beach, announce the return of Carolina Country Music Fest (CCMF) to the shores of Myrtle Beach, S.
However, when reports of aberrant mountain behavior and oppression from coal companies began to trickle out of the Appalachians along with the proliferation of vaudeville acts that degenerated the mountain man's vigorous image into a caricature worthy of ridicule (think "The Beverly Hillbillies"), the cowboy--whose manly persona and limitless freedom was being popularized in countless films and dime novels--took over as the pre-eminent and permanent symbol of Country music.
That's reflected in the most popular music in America, which is country music.
and the Academy of Country Music today announced that they have entered into an extended exclusive partnership agreement to develop and produce programming to meet the growing demand for country music related content.
March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Country Music Association announced today that Jim Ed Brown and The Browns , Grady Martin , and The Oak Ridge Boys will become the newest members of the revered Country Music Hall of Fame.