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Country Music Tour Coming to the AUD - WUTR WFXV CNYhomepage

08/28/14 3:49 pm


WUTR WFXV CNYhomepage

Country Music Tour Coming to the AUD
WUTR WFXV CNYhomepage
Platinum selling, country singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley will be joined by Randy Houser and Eric Paslay on November 16, 2014. A country music tour is stopping at the Utica AUD. Platinum selling, country singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley will be joined ...

and more »

Bluebird Café Concert Series performers weigh in on country music's trajectory - Daily Herald

08/28/14 2:04 pm


Bluebird Café Concert Series performers weigh in on country music's trajectory
Daily Herald
Kendell Marvel, a popular country music songwriter in Nashville, recently read that during his industry's heyday in the 1990s, there were around 3,000 professional songwriters. Now, the article claimed, country music used less than 200. “Nowadays, the ...

Arts Around Town: Country music's Swon Brothers ready for Great Allentown Fair - WFMZ Allentown

08/28/14 8:06 am


WFMZ Allentown

Arts Around Town: Country music's Swon Brothers ready for Great Allentown Fair
WFMZ Allentown
Brothers Zach and Colton Swon are pretty busy nowadays, touring the states and working alongside such country music artists as Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett. But make no mistake, these siblings are creating perfect harmonies of their ...
Swon Brothers Releasing Self-Titled Major Label Debut in October US 99.5
Swon Brothers Announce Debut Album The Boot
The Swon Brothers to release eponymous debut country album DigitalJournal.com

all 12 news articles »

Alan Jackson celebrates 25 years in country music - WKRN

08/28/14 1:35 am


Country Weekly

Alan Jackson celebrates 25 years in country music
WKRN
Country star Alan Jackson is celebrating 25 years in the industry with an exhibit at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin' It Country" opens this weekend, but Nashville's News 2 has a sneak peek. Jackson and his ...
Alan Jackson takes sneak peek at new Hall of Fame exhibit The Tennessean

all 3 news articles »

Sweet Tea wins country music talent search, advances to state final - Gadsden Times

08/27/14 3:46 pm


Sweet Tea wins country music talent search, advances to state final
Gadsden Times
The music group Sweet Tea, which includes local artist Kate Falcon, were big winners Aug. 14 at the Roxy Theater in downtown Russellville, taking top honors in one of three Alabama preliminary events in the 33rd annual Texaco Country Showdown.

Cory Branan: A 'No-Hit Wonder,' Making Small-Batch Country Music - NPR

08/27/14 2:43 pm


NPR

Cory Branan: A 'No-Hit Wonder,' Making Small-Batch Country Music
NPR
On the cover of his new album, Cory Branan is stretched out, with his feet up. His boots are all battered, worn down at the heels, and he's dozing off. The album's title kind of says it all: The No-Hit Wonder. It's his fourth in a career stacked with ...

John Daly made a new country music song - CBS sports.com (blog)

08/27/14 6:44 am


USA TODAY

John Daly made a new country music song
CBS sports.com (blog)
John Daly -- lover of monster drives and bizarre fashion -- has launched a new country music song called Hit It Hard and, I can't believe I'm saying this, it's actually pretty good. You can listen above. The lyrics are full of golf puns: "I hit it hard ...
John Daly: Country Music's Next Big Thing? Golf Channel
Mad Dash: John Daly is recording country music, and it's not terrible Yahoo Sports (blog)
John Daly's country song is so good we made a video for it USA TODAY
Courier Mail
all 8 news articles »

Rdio's secret weapon in the streaming wars may be country music - Quartz

08/26/14 8:50 pm


Rdio's secret weapon in the streaming wars may be country music
Quartz
In case you didn't notice, there is an epic battle brewing over how you listen to music, between the titans of the tech world like Apple, Google and Amazon, and streaming- music companies like Spotify and Pandora Media. One company that brings a unique ...

and more »

John Daly Makes Country Music - Deadspin

08/26/14 6:25 pm


John Daly Makes Country Music
Deadspin
And it's...not terrible? I honestly have no idea. Listening to country music is a lot like drinking fancy wine for me—I get drunk and regret everything—but I think this song of John Daly's here is not terrible. It's called Hit It Hard and it sounds ...

Merle Haggard Says Modern Country Is 'Not Enough Substance' - Taste of Country

08/25/14 3:26 pm


Merle Haggard Says Modern Country Is 'Not Enough Substance'
Taste of Country
Merle Haggard is a country music legend, and with four projects in the works, he's still going strong after a five-decade career … but he's not so sure he likes where the genre is headed. The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee admits that even after ...


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