This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Black Artists In Country Music Essay

3522 words - 14 pages

Charlie Pride did it in 1971. Darius Rucker did it in 2009. That’s it. Two black men, spanning thirty-eight years, are the only black artists to win a Country Music Association Award. With country music rooted in bluegrass and rhythm and blues, why aren’t there more black country music stars? When considering the roots of country music, and how closely related country is to blues, bluegrass and honky tonk music, an examination of what happened to all the black musicians seems warranted, no? This paper examines the dearth of black artists in country music and the careers of one of the few black artists who has had commercial success in this genre of music.
As long as we’re examining race, how is the success of a white rapper such as Eminem different? Plus, Eminem didn’t have a successful career in rock, for example as Darius Rucker did. Yet, Eminem’s career has been enormously successful, and there was little discussion of how odd it was that a white man would choose to perform in this genre. Is country music a genre that has been appropriated so much by white artists that black artists abandoned the genre altogether?
Darius Rucker, the former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish has made the transition from platinum selling pop rock artist to country singer in the past few years. On a recent episode of Oprah, Darius sat on Oprah’s couch as she declared to her audience, “Country music is the real soul music!” Rucker’s solo debut release, Learn to Live reached No. 1 and has remained on the Billboard charts for 30 weeks. The CD’s first two singles, “Don't Think I Don't Think About It" and "It Won't Be Like This For Long,” each hit No. 1, making Rucker the first male artist to get two debut singles atop the Hot Country Songs chart in the past 18 years (The Root). And in November of 2009, Rucker won the Country Music Association New Artist of the Year award, making him the first black artist to win the award since its introduction in 1981. Darius Rucker, a Charleston, S.C., native, describes his musical influences growing up in the south, “You could hear R&B, rock ’n’ roll and country on the same station, that was where it all started for me, being able to flip through the channels and never really hearing about what label something was” (Reverb).
Charlie Pride jokingly referred to this as the “pigmentation situation” (The Root). Musicologists such as Richard Peterson and Paul Di Maggio have theorized that country music is the embodiment of southern white pride. They have added post war northern migration enabled regional country music to be exported to other areas of the United States, especially centers of industrial production: “The argument is that white southerners streamed to northern and West Coast war-plants, while those in the armed forces carried the music around the world, and nonsoutherners stationed in the South were exposed to commercial country music for the first time. Furthermore, the warborn affluence made it economically...

Find Another Essay On Black Artists in Country Music

The Black and Blue: Music in Poetry

599 words - 3 pages Firstly, Brown’s “Ma Rainey” uses the music of the blues to address hardship, a thematic centrality of the musical genre. The poem references “Backwater Blues,” beginning with the following line: “It rained fo’ days an’ de skies was dark as night” (42). This imagery of a tempest symbolizes a state of internal or external unrest. In the unabridged version of “Backwater Blues,” the preceding line is immediately repeated; repetition works to

Redemption in the Music Industry: Portrayals of Artists Vindicating Themselves through Film and Text

1933 words - 8 pages influence in their lives. Almost Famous is Crowe's semi-autobiographical film about the music industry in the early 70's. The main character William is a writer for Cream magazine at the age of 15 when he gets a call from Rolling Stone Magazine asking what he'd like to do a piece about. The night before he had been to a Black Sabbyth concert trying to get an interview when instead he made buddies with a up-and-coming band Stillwater. So he suggests

Black Swan’s Roles in Popularization of Black music - Berklee, American music industry - Research Paper

1213 words - 5 pages reading this advertisement - earnestly want to do something for Negro music, go to our record dealer and ask for the better class of records by colored artists. If there is a demand, he will keep them. Try this list of the better class. (Suisman 228)” Blues Black Swan had also influenced the commercial expansion of Blues. In 1921, Ethel Waters recorded “Down Home Blues” and “Oh Daddy” with Black Swan, and two songs became Black Swan’s

The Image of Alcohol Use in Country Music

2351 words - 9 pages The Image of Alcohol Use in Country Music The relative presence or absence of clear norms prescribing certain kinds of alcohol use has long been regarded as a key factor in rates of alcoholism (e.g., 1, 2). In societies where it is expected that drinking will be used as a means to facilitate certain kinds of behavior or to assuage problems the incidence of alcohol problems is much higher than in those where expectations are that it be used

Black Female Sexuality in Music - First year writing - Freshman essay

2458 words - 10 pages Lauren Barnaby Black Female Sexuality in Music The black female body has been stereotypically sexualized for years and has had major effects on young black women’s sexual decision making. Black women have been viewed as sexual objects since as far back as slavery. We constantly expend a lot of energy fighting off sexualities that are imposed upon us time and time again. It’s exhausting having to constantly let it be known that black women can be

Black Lives Matter: A Descriptive Essay of Racism in Our Country - English - Essay

764 words - 4 pages , Missouri shortly after, “a white police officer, Darren Wilson, fatally shot an unarmed, 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown.” (Eligon). The black man in the photo could be a protestor involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. He could be heading towards a rally nearby that is surrounded by police vehicles. The officers in the photo are heading into surrounding areas to prevent people from joining the rally, as well as detain people who they

Dark Pasts and Black Screens: The Adaptation of Bell in No Country for Old Men

1680 words - 7 pages I ordered all of my books for the upcoming semester over the winter break while staying with my parents. Upon their arrival from Amazon, my dad plucked No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy from the pile with enthusiasm. Not that I do not trust or honor my father’s opinion, but usually his taste in novels is questionable. Besides his collection of Jimmy Buffett biographies, most of his choice novels feature soldiers or guns on the cover

Lifestyles and leaving conditions of the black and white people in Alan Paton's 'Cry, the Beloved Country'

884 words - 4 pages 'Cry, the Beloved Country' is set in 1946 in South Africa, where huge social and political changes had taken place at that time. It was first published in 1948 when Nationalist Party came to power and soon after that apartheid was introduced, establishing the separation of races in every aspect of daily life. Black people were refused voting rights and their role in the Parliament weakened. Alan Paton, in his novel had depicted the differences

Comparing and Contrasting the Protagonists in Flannery O’Connor’s Good Country People and Hawthorne's The Minister’s Black Veil

1819 words - 7 pages In the Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People,” Joy/Hulga Hopewell is the main protagonist. In “The Minister’s Black Veil,” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne the protagonist is Minister Hooper. Both of the main characters represent different views on religion, humanity, and humility. Hulga does not really believe in anything. Her main focus is trying to be smarter than others to compensate for her medical problems. Minister Hooper is a very good

Deceptions, Perceptions, and Stereotypes of Music

1398 words - 6 pages IntroductionThe purpose of this paper is to examine how different types of music are stereotypically tied to different races. The media tends to portray the audience and artists of rap music as mostly black. Also, media depicts mostly white people singing or listening to country music. While these facts are true, the music industries are not limiting their listeners to the respected race. There are millions of listeners that break the racial


586 words - 2 pages The Way It Really Was.Way back when, the music was all rhythm and blues (r &b). It was recorded mostly by black artists and for black audience but the white teenagers became interested. R & B, country and pop were the three genres of music. Music stations usually played one type of music so listeners could easily find what type they wanted. Pop had 4 major recording companies. RCA, Columbia, Beca and Mercury. These companies had very

Similar Essays

Black Women In Music Essay

1800 words - 7 pages Black Women in Music Music is a reflection of the community from which it came. African American women have been reflecting the social, economic, and political experiences of the African American community through thier music past and present. Each era of change in the African American community has brought about a African American female revoluntionary. Examples of this can be seen through the blues and jazz singers of the Harlem

Female Performers In Country Music Essay

4051 words - 16 pages , Samantha Bumgarner and Eva Davis do enjoy the distinction of being recording artists in the early development of country music, but they were the exception to the rule -- especially given the fact that they were not members of a musical family group. The two, natives of Sylvia, North Carolina, have the historical honor of being "one of country music's first recorded string bands and possibly made the first five-string banjo records." (Oermann and

Success In The Subgenres Of Country Music

2514 words - 11 pages a songwriter for artists such as Travis Tritt and Billy Currington. Soon after, Bryan signed a contract with Capitol Records in Nashville, Tennessee and began writing and producing his first album. Staying true to his songwriting roots, Bryan wrote eleven of the songs on his debut record. I'll Stay Me scored Bryan two top ten hits with the songs “All My Friends Say” and “Country Man”, along with an award from Music Row for Breakthrough

Black Nationalism And The Revolution In Music

1048 words - 4 pages century, Pride has been one of the Top 15 best-selling artists of all time. His body of work includes a legacy of 36 No.1 hit singles, over 25 million albums sold worldwide, 31 gold and 4 platinum albums -- including one quadruple-platinum. Charlie Pride was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Again, it shows you were the black nation has come form to be here after great achievements. The black population has fought hard to get where