Over seven years of full-time labor on the part of numerous people, over 101 interviews conducted, countless hours of archival work digging up old photographs, audio, video, and other vintage material, and an elongated year-long promotional effort finally culminated in the broadcast of the debut episode for the Ken Burns Country Music epic.
For many years, the influence and contributions of African American musicians in country music went mostly overlooked, or overshadowed by their Caucasian counterparts. However there has been a recent trend by media and even some artists to overstate the influence of African Americans.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Hank Williams, Jimmie Allen, Jimmie Rodgers, Kane Brown, Leyla McCalla, Mickey Guyton, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Valerie June
Two groundbreaking pioneers in country music—the “Father of Country Music” Jimmie Rodgers, and country music’s first African-American superstar Charley Pride—have both been selected along with five others to be in the 2017 class of Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipients.
Preserving the roots of country is not always just about paying homage. Sometimes it is about sowing disharmony or speaking out in protest to help force country music back on the right path. Music Row and the country music industry will always be about money first. The artists are the ones who must take the lead and reign the business in.
If you’re into country music and the history of it, you’re probably used to hearing about the “King” of this, or the “Father” of that. Since the history of country music is so important to keeping the lineage of the music alive, country pays special homage to the people who helped form or popularize the genre.
Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Carl Perkins, George Strait, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Martin, Kitty Wells, Lena Hughes, Loretta Lynn, Mary Padgett, Maybelle Carter, Reverend Horton Heat, Rhonda Vincent, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Slim Dusty, Spade Cooley, The Carter Family, unknown hinson, Wanda Jackson, Wayne Hancock
You look at these two guys, and it is living history right in front of you. But they aren’t living history museum pieces. They are lucid, active participants in the music community, still writing and singing songs, still with the fire inside them to contribute to the genre they helped create, and pay country music forward to yet another generation of loyal and appreciative fans.
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are pairing up once again. This was the one nugget of important information squeezed between pot jokes when Willie Nelson made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday evening (3-21) as part of South by Southwest (SXSW) festivities in Austin, TX. It won’t be the first time the two country music legends have released an album together, and it may not be the last.
Is Dolly Parton a “Badass”? You bet she is. And for her birthday (Jan. 19th), let’s articulate 10 reasons (actually twelve) why the the platinum blonde buxom country music legend still kicking ass at age 68 should be considered a badass by everyone. And by the way, yes I know the term “badass” may seem a little strange to reference Dolly Parton with.
Brenda Lee, Dolly Parton, Dollywood, Emmylou Harris, Here You Come Again, I Will Always Love You, Imagination Library, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Mule Skinner Blues, Porter Wagoner, Trio, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson
“What I love about CMA Music Fest, it reflects where country music is, you know?” Dierks Bentley says. “It’s a young, current, hip thing that’s happening that deserves to be in a downtown city center that’s new and growing and feels vibrant and just feels … represents the music properly. You know, this is not like your grandfather’s country music anymore.”
Nashville will always be the home of country music, but Bristol, TN/VA was where the big bang of country music occurred. In 1927, recording pioneer Ralph Peer from the Victor Talking Machine Company set up his equipment in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company in downtown Bristol and started recording acts that would become the very foundation of what we know as country music today.
Ashley Monroe, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Carlene Carter, Dolly Parton, Doyle Lawson, Emmylou Harris, Jim Lauderdale, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, Ralph Peer, Ralph Stanley, The Bristol Sessions, The Carter Family, The Church Sisters, The Stoneman Family, The Whistles & The Bells, Vince Gill
The bayou cries out in mourning, but the music will live on. Jimmy C. Newman, the ‘C’ standing for “Cajun,” known as one of country music’s most passionate champions of the Cajun influence and nicknamed “The Alligator Man,” passed away on Saturday, June 21st due to Cancer. He was 86-years-old. Jimmy C. Newman, “The Alligator Man”, is now sitting on the banks of the great bayou in the sky.
Bill Monroe, Cajun, dead, Dolly Parton, Fred Rose, Gene Autry, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy C. Newman, obituary, passed away, Ricky Skaggs, The Alligator Man, The Carter Family, The Grand Ole Opry, Tom T. Hall
Though The Kossoy Sisters were surrounded by the folk revival, much of the inspiration and compositions for their music originated farther south in the Southern Appalachians. Their focus was gospel and primitive country murder ballads. Most importantly, that innocence and purity that the world had scarcely heard since those original Ralph Peer Bristol Sessions was present in their music.
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience: from growing up in California as the son of Okie parents during The Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story. When it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
#1 hits, Bob Wills, cancer, CBS Records, Escaping from jail, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Me and Crippled Soldiers Give A Damn, Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, Rick Blackburn, San Quentin, The Bakersfield Sound, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson
What made Johnny Cash the ultimate badass was his ability to bridge people together regardless of taste in music, cultural differences, or political ideology. Johnny Cash could tackle some of the most difficult issues facing a tumultuous American society as it saw the emergence of rock and roll and the counterculture because they man had such an air of respect about him.
AP Carter, Bitter Tears, Bob Dylan, Cowboy Jack Clement, Folsom Prision, Graham Nash, hurt, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, NIN, San Quentin, Shel Silverstein, Sunday Morning Coming Down, The Johnny Cash Show, Trent Reznor, United Nations Humanitarian Award, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
“That night in my house [was] the first time these songs were heard…” Johnny Cash went on. “Joni Mitchell sang ‘Both Sides Now,’ Graham Nash sang ‘Marrakesh Express,’ Shel Silverstein sang ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ Bob Dylan sang ‘Lay Lady Lay,’ and Kristofferson sang ‘Me & Bobby McGee.’ That was the first time any of those songs were heard.”
A Boy Named Sue, Bing Crosby, Bob Dylan, Both Sides Now, Carl Perkins, David Letterman, Duran Duran, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Graham Nash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Lay Lady Lay, Marrakesh Express, Me & Bobby McGee, Million Dollar Quartet, Million Dollar Songwriter Circle, Ministry, Nashville Skyline, Shel Silverstein, The Byrds, The Highwaymen, Willie Nelson
Slim Whitman’s influence far outlasted his popular music popularity, and so do his songs that illustrate an astounding, enchanting control of the human vocal range. Oh, and let’s not forget that moment in 1996 when Slim Whitman’s music single-handedly saved the world from invading Martians
Rachel Brooke is one of the few select artist with enough mustard to rise out of the ashes of the country music underground and become a force in the greater roots world. Like an early Emmylou Harris, the music industry should be shuttling her across the country to lend her singular vocal texture to other projects in between putting out excellent solo albums that time finds hard to forget.
As some of you may already know, I’ve got a good friend named Pointer, and every year we get together for an annual trip to downtown Nashville around Labor Day. Pointer and I are great friends and we both love country music, but we couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the country music spectrum. Pointer loves to have his picture taken in front of things.
The diversity in this insurgent roots movement gives us strength. If you ask me, Scott Biram, Hillstomp, or Larry & His Flask are much more country than most of the stuff you can hear on the radio that flies that flag. Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers were both country bluesman, and I see that same spirit, and musical open-mindedness here.
Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately. Been under the weather and busy, you know. I’m working on some great blogs in this upcoming week, but here’s a couple of quick things: I had a BLAST last Thursday, hanging out in the chat room as the It Burns When I Pee podcast held a vidcast […]
Brigitte London, Hank III, Hank Williams, Honky Tonk Hustlas, IBWIP, It Burns When I Pee, Jimmie Rodgers, Marty Robbins, Metal Farm Magazine, Outlaw Radio, podcasting, Rachel Brooke, Reinstate Hank, Seven Signs, vidcast
Real quick, some MySpace readers have been having trouble commenting and kudoing these blogs. MySpace has been jacking with the blogs for weeks now, and I appreciate everyone working through the problems. As always you can comment problem free at savingcountrymusic.com. Alright people. A couple of weeks back I made this video . . . […]