Country, country western or as its sometimes called…Hillbilly music is a popular genre of music that originated in the southern states of the USA. Country music was first recognised in the 1920s, taking its roots from American blues and folk music.
The first commercial recording of country music was by fiddlers Henry Gilliland and A.C. Robertson in 1923 for Victor records. Columbia Records started releasing music from the country genre from 1924.
The first country style song that was released with vocals was in 1923 by John Carson, called Little Log Cabin in the Lane.
The Great Depression in the 30s caused a huge decline in record sales however radio became a very popular source of entertainment in society. As well as this the now famous Grand Ole Opry opened in 1925 which showcased (and still does to this day) local and worldwide musical talent.
The 1940s introduced new genres of country music when the cowboys became popular in film. New country genres includes:
- Singing cowboys and Western swing
- Hillbilly Boogie
- Bluegrass folk & gospel
- Honky Tonk
- Country Pop
- Country Rock
- Cowboy Ballads
However by the 1960s cowboy ballads declined in sales withe the popularity of Rock n Roll. But with the help of marketing agencies and film country became popular again in the 70s and has been successful ever since.
Famous country singers:
- Shania Twain
- Faith Hill
- Carrie Underwood
- Taylor Swift
- The Dixie Chicks