Country Music Presented by: Katie, Jessica, and Zach
All About country Music Country music is one of the best selling genres after rock/pop. The most commonly used instruments are a fiddle, banjo, steel/electric guitars, harmonica, washboards, and drums. Country music was said to be a way for isolated town-folk to hear about the happenings of the rest of the world.
The Beginning (1920’s)
Country found it’s permanent home in Nashville Tennessee in 1925 when the Nashville Barn Dance opened, which later became the Grand Ole Opry.
The first commercial recording of “country music” was by Sallie Gooden in 1922 by Victor Records.
The first singer to have a nationwide hit was Vernon Dalhart in 1924.
The two most influential groups of this time was the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. They built the foundation for the genre.
Jimmie Rodgers was considered the “Father of Country Music” and the Carter Family was the first family of country music.
Cowboy Music (1940-1960) The western style of country music was brought to the American Public through cowboy films. The main singers were Roy Rogers (“King of the Cowboys”), Gene Autry, and The Sons of the Pioneers.
Honky Tonk (1950)
The Honky Tonk style of country music embodied the spirit of drinking , dancing, and loving then losing the one you love.
Steel guitar and drums was very popular.
One of the biggest figures of this time was Hank Williams. He had one of the best knows songs from this era “Your Cheatin’ Heart”.
This type of music was common in roadside pubs throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
This was a mix of southern hills music and the blues.
It included famous artists such as, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, and Elvis Presley.
It was a faster paced sound and had a constant rhythm. The people were living a faster paced life and wanted music that could keep up.
Outlaw country (1970) A more traditional sound emerged to break the mold of Nashville sound. The main singers were Conway Twitty, David Allan Coe, and The Charlie Daniels Band.
Urban Country (1980)
This style of country attempted to lead country from its roots and crossover to an easy-listening pop audience.
The heroes of this time were Willie, Waylon, Johnny, and Merle.
Modern Country Today’s music is accompanied by orchestras and uses synthesizer and studio effects to give it a rich sound. Today, country music is at its highest peak of popularity. Some of today’s well known artists include Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flats, Rodney Atkins and Brooks and Dunn. (play song)
How to use country music in the classroom 1.) You could use country music when studying the old west and cowboys in history. Cowboy style music would fit perfectly. 2.)You could also use country music to teach the students different style of dance. This could be square dancing, line dancing, or the Cotton Eye Joe dance.
Activity One: Country Genre Crosswords This will be a handout to help you remember the history of country music.
Activity Two: Cotton Eye Joe Dance We will be teaching you the movements to the dance and then we will dance to the music!