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Cultural Paper

812 words - 4 pages

Country music is a popular genre of music in America’s society. Originating in the 1920’s in Southern United States, country music takes inspiration from American folk music and Western music. Although Country music is loved today by many, it didn’t always enjoy such success and popularity. Country music has gone through six “generations”. Through each of these six generations, Country music and America’s perceptions towards it have changed immensely. Though all six generations played an important part in the shaping of the country music genre, the most important developments in country music have happened during the first and third generations. Those two generations took country music and shaped it into what it is today.
The first generation of country music happens in the 1920’s. This is the very beginning of country music. Atlanta is considered the birthplace of country music, where Appalachian people, coming into the city to work in the cotton mills, brought their music with them. The Appalachian people used instruments brought over from countries where they immigrated from. The main instruments used in their music were the Spanish guitar, the Irish fiddle, the German dulcimer, the Italian mandolin, and the West African banjo. Country music of this first generation was unlike the music of today’s generation. Now referred to as “Original Country Music”, first generation country music evolved from folk music, gospel music and old-time or hillbilly music, unlike the pop derived music of today’s country music. Country music in this generation wasn’t as popular. Some recording companies embraced the “Hillbilly Music” and saw that it would be a good fit for the growing agricultural workers, while other companies turned away from the new genre. This first generation of country music was popular only with a specific group of people, but the genre had been born and was slowly spreading.
The generation that truly changed country music from where it first began was the third generation. The third generation took place during the 1950’s and 1960’s. By the 1950s, a blend of country boogie, Western swing music, and honky tonk was played by most country bands. By the time the mid 1950’s rolled around, a new sound of country music was gaining popularity. This new style was called rockabilly. Rockabilly was most popular with country fans in the 1950s, and 1956 could be called the year of rockabilly in country music. Rockabilly...

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