Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Generations of Country Music

Before moving forward into the 80s, we must step back in time to the beginnings of Country Music, a genre all its own that has left an indelible mark on music history. Old time fiddle (a genre of American folk music) is the precursor to country that influenced bluegrass, country blues, variants of western swing and country rock.

First Generation (1920s)

Even though some commercial recordings of "country music" occurred in the early 1920s, August 1, 1927 is penned as the most significant date in Country Music history. On that day, Ralph Peer signed Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family to recording contracts for Victor Records.

Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, 1931
CREDIT: "Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, 1931.
" Photo courtesy of the BCMA Museum, for "Birthplace of Country Music -
The Bristol Music Story," a Tennessee Local Legacies project



The evolution of country music is massive! So many different varieties, so many great recording artists, soloists and groups. Of course, there is no other institution synonymous with country music other than the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Since 1925, most, if not all, of the greats in country music have appeared on its stage entertaining live audiences.

Second Generation (1930s-40s)
 
Among the firsts to gain fame on the Grand Ole Opry was Roy Acuff. As the Grand Ole Opry is synonymous with country music, country music is synonymous with Roy Acuff.


A unique musical mixture originally referenced as Western Music developed in 1931. When the word 'swing' was brought into the mainstream with the Duke Ellington hit "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," Western Swing was born. The recordings of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys defined this genre of music declaring Wills 'The King of Western Swing'. As a musical hybrid, western swing introduced blues and country music to big bad jazz and swing. What a combination! Milton Brown, a father of Western Swing, was also one of the first to fuse country, jazz and pop. 

In this generation evolved...

Bill Monroe

 Bill Monroe And Bluegrass

Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

 Cowboy Music

Hank Williams

 Honky Tonk Music

Third Generation (1950s-60s)

By the early 1950s, most country bands played a blend of Western swing, country boogie and honky tonk. Western music influenced by the cowboy ballads reached its peak in popularity in the late 1950s, most notably with the song "El Paso," first recorded by Marty Robbins in September 1959.

In this generation evolved...

Johnny Cash
Patsy Cline

Of course, Country Music does not end here. Just time for a break since so much history must be absorbed before moving on. We will end for your listening pleasure with...


Milton Brown (the “Founder of Western Swing”)
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.
Milton Brown (the “Founder of Western Swing”)
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
Duke Ellington hit, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" brought the word “swing” into the mainstream.
Read more at http://www.roughstock.com/history/western-swing#2ZiocLvLXJ1WvBVu.99
  
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...