Even though names like Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, and The Carter Family loom large for many of country music’s devoted fans, they don’t necessarily rise to the level of household names like Ernest Tubb, and of course the great Hank Williams, who was the centerpiece of the third installment of the Ken Burns ‘Country Music’ documentary.
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
Let’s face it. For a host of reasons, it’s pretty rare to see African Americans making country and roots music. But when they do, more often that not, they’re doing it the right way, pushing the music forward creatively while fiercely helping to preserving the past, becoming part of the solution instead of prolonging the problem.
Aaron Vance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Davis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Tony Jackson, Valerie June
Hank Williams Jr.’s politics and boisterous attitude will always make him one of the most polarizing figures in country music history. But those who are quick to overlook his musical contributions both on and off the stage, the amazing body of work he’s amassed over his legendary career, and the mark he’s made on country music are doing Bocephus and themselves a huge disservice.
You won’t see Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory at the top of anyone’s ‘Best Of’ lists this year, unless it relates to touring or live performances. Leroy Virgil & the boys didn’t leave much time for recording and releasing albums in 2013; they were too busy ripping off one of the toughest, busiest, and arguably the most notable touring schedules in 2013 from an independent country act.