There country music came to the usa to change lay the groundwork. In the mid-1920s, in rural areas of the southern United States, he began to merge folk music from countries like Irelandwhere a large part of the population comes from, with other art forms already rooted in the community through African-American culture such as blues, gospel and other types of religious music, and as a result of this mixture, what has become an absolutely identifying sound of the region was born: what we now know around the world as country music or country music and was previously called hillbilly.

Although the origins of this musical style can be traced back to the mid-1920s, the term country only began to be used in a somewhat marginal way in the 1950s and finally took hold in the 1970s as a means of encompass a variety of sounds that had in common the progression of simple chords, the use of stringed instruments like the violin, and often the use of vocal harmonies.

Traditional country was essentially played with stringed instruments such as acoustic guitar, violin, double bass and banjo. However, this musical style has evolved a lot over the years and now Country music is also seen as music thatkeeping the essence of the original sounds, integrated into electronic instruments like electric guitar, electric bass and even keyboards.

Country music includes subgenres such as Harmonious Sound, Country Folk, Honky Tonk, Country and Irish, Country Instrumental, Country Outlaw, Country Pop, Country Rock, tex-mex, the typical western of cowboy movies and western swing.

Moreover, in what is called alternative country, you can also find more psychedelic sounds such as American cosmic music, also a subgenre of rock; progressive country; the psydeco, or the very popular rockabilly, which oscillates between traditional country and rock and roll.

From traditional country to bluegrass

Although country music has deep roots, even the most traditional sounds have failed to overcome the passage of time. And it is that, although many consider country to be an excellent container in which many styles fit, there are some like bluegrass that have more than just a name.

This country twist originating in North American Appalachia, but with obvious European influences, is literally the brainchild of Kentucky musician Bill Monroe and his band. This mandolinist founded the Blue Grass Boys in 1945 began, with input from Ear Scruggs, to shape what is now known as bluegrass, a unique sound in which country music is presented with a much faster melody thanks to the innovative playing technique of the three-finger banjo developed by Scruggs.

The sounds of the Blue Grass Boys fell so in love with the public that soon many other bands joined their way of making music, popularizing what would come to be called in honor of the band, bluegrass and leaving behind songs like Molly and Tenbrooks by Bill Monroe for and Rank Strangers by Sanley Brothers.

Nashville, cradle of pop country music

Overnight in Nahsville. / Adam P. Fagen – Getty Images

But bluegrass wasn’t the only country twist to gain favor with audiences. In the same way that this subgenre or musical variation made its way into the industry in the mid-1940s, in the 1960s the mix between traditional and pop music He ended up winning the hearts of Americans. Thanks to a sound mixing strings and guitar with smart beats and much smoother verses, the Nashville sound came through and this Tennessee town became the cradle of country artists of the time, putting aside the honky tonk that predominated in the 50s.

In the sixties, voices as important to country music as Jim Reeves, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins and Eddy Arnold among others crossed the studios, streets and stages of Nashville.

Elvis Presley, the king of rockabilly

Among the most important country music figures of all time is Elvis Presley himself. The king of rock started with country music and is considered the creator of rockabilly in the 1950s, one of the most popular variations of American traditional music to date that borders on rock and, without a doubt, as the greatest speaker of this style. had.

During his career, Presley worked on rock, blues, R&B, rockabilly and the most classic country, leaving to posterity country-style songs such as the mythical Kentucky Blue Moon (1957), I forgot to remember to forget (1955), It’s a sin (1961), Green green house grass (1975) y Guitarist (1980) and iconic rockabilly tracks like It’s good (Mom) the 1956 song that many theorists point to as the theme that laid the foundations for this particular and frenetic style in which the key lies in the presence of a ultra-expressive and twirling vocalist tumbling on an acoustic guitar.

The country is still alive after Jhonny Cash

Beyond Elvis Presley, who went down in history as the king of rock, not country, if there’s one artist who can be crowned the true and absolute monarch of this genre, it’s Johnny Cash.

This musician from Arkansas managed to make his music heard around the world in the sixties and left songs like I walk the line which, without a doubt, has inspired more than one generation and which continues to be the guide for artists who in 2023 continue to dare with this genre.

Cash covered, among many others, Kacey Musgraves, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift themselves, all artists who continue to prove to this day that traditional American music with its original rhythms or mixed with pop sounds, is still able to make the public fall in love.

For example, this great song from the singer-songwriter who risked it all at age 14 to move to Nashville and carve out a country career and is now filling stadiums around the world. Tears on my guitar by Taylor Swift.

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