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Parmalee to bring wet, wild country music to Summer Jam in St. Joseph - The Kalamazoo Gazette

07/31/14 4:48 am

Parmalee to bring wet, wild country music to Summer Jam in St. Joseph
The Kalamazoo Gazette
The Thomas brothers started playing music, thanks to their father's influence. They started Parmalee -- a reference to their hometown of Parmale, North Carolina -- in 2001. The band released a trio of albums in 2002, 2004 and 2008 when the country ...
Peanut Fest concerts announced Suffolk News-Herald

all 3 news articles »

Country Music's Adventurous Streak - The Atlantic

07/31/14 4:18 am

The Atlantic

Country Music's Adventurous Streak
The Atlantic
2, which collects songs by country singers that show the influence of funk between 1967 and 1974, is interesting for two reasons. First, it shows the skewed interests of the music press. Second, and not unrelatedly, it shows that country music has ...

Suspense building for long-awaited grand opening of Birthplace of Country ... -

07/30/14 7:50 pm

American Songwriter

Suspense building for long-awaited grand opening of Birthplace of Country ...
16, 1971, during dedication ceremonies for a large plaque commemorating those recordings — a high-water mark in the history of recorded country music. Nearly 43 years later — and a couple of blocks to the east — that pledge is finally being fulfilled.
Birthplace of Country Music Museum Opens in Bristol This Weekend American Songwriter

all 2 news articles »

Right at home: Country music artist Amber Hayes to perform at The Backporch in ... - Hickory Daily Record

07/30/14 4:27 pm

Right at home: Country music artist Amber Hayes to perform at The Backporch in ...
Hickory Daily Record
She dove into the country music world after her starring role in the 2008 Conway Twitty musical “It's Only Make Believe.” In 2010, she released her debut EP “C'mon,” which landed two Top 40 singles on the national MusicRow Country Breakout chart. In ...

Social Justice Yes, 'Bro-Country' Music Is a Thing, and It's Awful - TakePart

07/30/14 3:46 pm

Social Justice Yes, 'Bro-Country' Music Is a Thing, and It's Awful
Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with contemporary country music knows the tropes: American flags, cowboy boots, guys in pickup trucks ogling girls in jean shorts and bikini tops who, for some unknown reason, are also spraying each other with ...

Man rapes 17-year-old at Keith Urban concert as country music fans record on ... - Raw Story

07/30/14 5:54 am

Raw Story

Man rapes 17-year-old at Keith Urban concert as country music fans record on ...
Raw Story
A Boston man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl he met at a Keith Urban concert over the weekend. Country music singer Keith Urban's Boston concert made news earlier this week after at least 46 fans were treated for alcohol-related illnesses, and ...
Police charge man with raping woman at country music concert
Country Music Fans Film Teen Rape at Keith Urban Concert, Say Police (Video) Opposing Views
Mass. man accused of raping 17-year-old at country music show CBS News
Wicked Local Kingston
all 156 news articles »

Does Country Music Need An Alcohol Intervention? - Billboard

07/29/14 2:46 pm


Does Country Music Need An Alcohol Intervention?
Seven of the 60 songs on Hot Country Songs contain a drinking reference in the title: "Drunk on a Plane," "Bartender," Eric Church's "Cold One," Frankie Ballard's "Sunshine & Whiskey," Little Big Town's "Day Drinking," The Brothers Osborne's "Rum" and ...

and more »

These Girls In A Country Song Aren't Going To Wait Quietly In Your Pickup Truck - Huffington Post

07/29/14 2:37 pm

These Girls In A Country Song Aren't Going To Wait Quietly In Your Pickup Truck
Huffington Post
There are still wide-brimmed hats and pickup trucks aplenty, but the country music video landscape changed with the rise of "bro-country" -- which is exactly what it sounds like. Videos for the growing sub-genre feature two things in particular: beer ...
Nashville's 'bro country' culture called out in 'Girl in a Country Song' music ...
"Girl in a Country Song" Music Video Flips the Script and Puts Men in the ... E! Online
End of Bro- Country? Maddie & Tae poke fun at county music video clichés in ...
The Slatest (blog)  - Just Jared Jr.  - American Songwriter
all 22 news articles »

The World's Highest Paid Country Musicians 2014 - Forbes

07/28/14 9:57 am

The World's Highest Paid Country Musicians 2014
These days, top country acts are even outpacing the biggest names in mainstream pop music. Luke Bryan was the No. 2 best-selling artist of 2013 behind only Justin Timberlake, while Florida Georgia Line's crossover smash “Cruise” was the No. 4 most ...
Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton make Forbes' 2014 list of highest ...
Forbes Ranks Country Music's Top Earning Acts The Boot
Toby Keith rakes in the bucks as country music's highest-paid star
CBS News  - Newsday
all 67 news articles »

Country Music Fans Flood North Shore For Concert At PNC Park - CBS Local

07/27/14 8:18 am

Country Music Fans Flood North Shore For Concert At PNC Park
CBS Local
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fans flocked to the North Shore Saturday evening to see several of country music's biggest stars take the stage. Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert drew tens of thousands of people to PNC Park. But unlike ...

Country Music
Southern States: Hillbilly Music

In 1910 ethnomusicologist John Lomax published "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads" (that followed by two years the first known collection of cowboy songs), and in 1916 Cecil Sharp began publishing hundreds of folk songs from the Appalachian mountains (or, better, the Cumberland Mountains, at the border between Kentucky and Tennessee), two events that sparked interest for the white musical heritage, although the world had to wait until 1922 before someone, Texan fiddler Eck Robertson, cut the first record of "old-time music". These collections created the myth of the Appalachians as remote sanctuaries of simple, noble life, whose inhabitants, the "mountaneers", isolated from the evils of the world embodied the true American spirit. Many of those regions were not settled until 1835, and then they were settled by very poor immigrants, thus creating a landscape of rather backwards communities, still attached to their traditions but also preoccupied with the daily struggle for survival.

In 1922, a radio station based in Georgia (WSM) was the first to broadcast folk songs to its audience. A little later, a radio station from Fort Worth, in Texas (WBAP), launched the first "barn dance" show. In june 1923, 55-year old Georgia's fiddler John Carson recorded (in Atlanta) two "hillbilly" (i.e., southern rural) songs, an event that is often considered the official founding of "country" music (although Texas fiddler Eck Roberton had already recorded the year before). The recording industry started dividing popular music into two categories: race music (that was only black) and hillbilly music (that was only white). The term "hillbilly" was actually introduced by "Uncle" Dave Macon's Hill Billie Blues (1924). In 1924, Chicago's radio station WLS (originally "World's Largest Store") began broadcasting a barn dance that could be heard throughout the Midwest.

With When The Work's All Done This Fall (1925), Texas-bred Carl Sprague became the first major musician to record cowboy songs (the first "singing cowboy" of country music). And, finally, in 1925, Nashville's first radio station (WSM) began broadcasting a barn dance that would eventually change name to "Grand Ole Opry". Country music was steaming ahead. Labels flocked to the South to record singing cowboys, and singing cowboys were exhibited in the big cities of the North.

Among the most literate songwriters were Texas-born Goebel Reeves, who penned The Drifter (1929), Blue Undertaker's Blues (1930), Hobo's Lullaby (1934) and The Cowboy's Prayer (1934), i.e. a mixture of hobo and cowboy songs, and Tennessee-born Harry McClintock, the author of the hobo ballads Big Rock Candy Mountain (1928) and Hallelujah Bum Again (1926).

Country music was a federation of styles, rather than a monolithic style. Its origins were lost in the early decades of colonization, when the folk dances (Scottish reels, Irish jigs, and square dances, the poor man's version of the French "cotillion" and "quadrille") and the British ballad got transplanted into the new world and got contaminated by the religious hymns of church and camp meetings. The musical styles were reminiscent of their British ancestors. The lyrics, on the other hand, were completely different. The Americans disliked the subject of love, to which they preferred pratical issues such as real-world experiences (ranching, logging, mining, railroads) and real-world tragedies (bank robberies, natural disasters, murders, train accidents).

The instrumentation included the banjo, introduced by the African slaves via the minstrel shows, the Scottish "fiddle" (the poor man's violin, simplified so that the fiddler could also sing) and the Spanish guitar (an instrument that became popular in the South only around 1910). Ironically, as more and more blacks abandoned the banjo and adopted the guitar, the banjo ended up being identified with white music, while the guitar ended up being identified as black music. For example, Hobart Smith learned to play from black bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, but went on to play the banjo while Jefferson played the guitar.

The role of these instruments was more rhythmic than melodic, because most performances were solo, without percussion. Some regions added their own specialties (such as the accordion in Louisiana), but mostly white music was based on stringed instruments. When not performed solo, it was performed by string bands, particularly after the 1920s, when the first recordings allowed musicians to actually make a living out of their "old-time music". The string bands of the 1920s included Charlie Poole's North Carolina Ramblers, that augmented the repertory of old-time music with songs from minstrel and vaudeville shows, Ernest Stoneman's Dixie Mountaineers, and finally (but the real trend-setters for string bands) the hillbilly supergroup Skillet Lickers, formed in 1926 and featuring Riley Puckett on guitar, Gideon Tanner and Clayton McMichen on fiddles (and all of them on vocals), the first ones to record Red River Valley (1927).

The "hillbilly" format (led by the guitar and a bit more "cosmopolitan") was more popular in the plains, while the "mountain" format of the Appalachians (dominated by fiddle and banjo) remained relatively sheltered from urban and African-American influences.

Solo artists, or "ramblers", became popular after World War I, but often had to move to New York to make recordings. Some of them specialized in "event" songs, songs that chronicled contemporary events, such as Henry Whitter's The Wreck Of The Old 97 (1923), that may have been the first "railroad song" (but actually used the melody of the traditional The Ship That Never Returned), later recorded by New York's singer Vernon Dalhart (1924) for the national audience (perhaps the first hit of country music), Andrew Jenkins' Death Of Floyd Collins, also first recorded by Dalhart (1926), about a mining accident, and Bob Miller's Eleven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat (1928), Dry Votin' (1929), and especially Twentyone Years (1930), perhaps the first "prison song". Miller was, by far, the most prolific, writing thousands of hillbilly songs.

Hillbilly musicians also dealt with the opposite genre, the novelty song: Wendell Hall's ukulele novelty It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo (1923), Carson Robison's whistling novelty Nola (1926), Frank Luther's comic sketch Barnacle Bill The Sailor (1928).

Very few of these singers were of country origins: Vernon Dalhart, Carson Robison and Bob Miller were New York singers who became famous singing hillbilly songs (and sometimes composing them, as in the case of Robison and Miller).

The real country musicians had been known mainly for their instrumental bravura. A national fiddle contest had been organized in Georgia already in 1917 (by the Old Time Fiddlers Organization). Two musicians important in the transition from the quiet and linear "mountain" style and the fast and syncopated "bluegrass" style were banjoists Charlie Poole of the North Carolina Ramblers (Don't Let Your Deal Go Down, 1925; White House Blues, 1926, better known as Cannonball Blues), and "Uncle" Dave Macon, the main "collector" of old-time music and one of the best-sold artists during the Roaring Twenties (Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy, 1924; Chewing Gum, 1924; Sail Away Ladies, 1927). If these two already used the banjo as much more than a mere rhythmic device, Dock Boggs was perhaps the first white banjoist to play the instrument like a blues guitar (in 1927 he recorded six plantation blues numbers and Sugar Baby, that was rockabilly ante-litteram). Sam McGee was one of the first to play the guitar like a bluesman, starting with Railroad Blues (1928). Georgia's blind guitarist Riley Puckett, the author of My Carolina Home (1927), played a key role in transforming the guitar from percussion instrument to accompanying instrument.

Un until the late 1920s, hillbilly artists were considered comedians as much as musicians. Many of them had a repertory of both songs and skits. The Skillet Lickers were probably instrumental in creating the charisma of the country musician, as opposed to the image of the hillbilly clown.

The Hawaian steel guitar, invented by Joseph Kekuku around 1885 in Honolulu, was a late addition