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Country Roots of Rock
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Country Roots of Rock


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  • 1. Country & Western Roots of Rock and Roll
  • 2. Original Folk/Country  Early Sources: English Scottish Ballads  Folk Song Collector Francis James Child, found English ballads. Published 1882-98  Childs Ballads often referred to by number  Early Irish Settlers kept music alive
  • 3. Appalachian Mountain Ballads  Old Songs Kept Alive by Mountain Settlers  Jean Ritchie, dulcimer, Sang Songs With Her Family  BA Sociology, Moved to New York 1946  Brought Her Family Songs To NYC: Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand
  • 4. Jean Ritchie & Dulcimer
  • 5. 1st Country Recording  1922 Eck Robertson & Henry Gilliland recorded Turkey in the Straw (Zip Coon)  1923 Ralph Peer recorded on location he discovered Fiddlin’ John Carson  1927 Peer recorded in Bristol TN & discovered the Carter Family & Jimmie Rodgers
  • 6. The Carter Family  One of the Most Popular Acts from 1927-1936.  Broke up in 1936, Maybelle Carter performed with her Daughters  Maybelle Carter, thumb-brush guitar style  June Carter became a regular Grand Ole Opry  Married Johnny Cash
  • 7. Jimmie Rodgers  Father of Country Music, The Singing Brakeman.  Worker on the railroad, collected African-American songs from workers  Blue Yodel, or T For Texas (blues without the response)  Died 1933 at age 35
  • 8. Country Harmony  The Sound of Country Harmony likely came from Shaped-Note Singing (Sacred Harp)  Religious Songbooks used different shaped notes to indicate harmony.
  • 9. Shaped-Note Music
  • 10. Barn Dance Radio Shows  National Barn Dance, WLS Chicago, 1924  Grand Ole Opry, WSM Nashville, 1925  National Life & Accident Insurance  WSM = We Shield Millions  Several Locations, 1940 The Ryman Auditorium  1970s Opry House, Opryland Hotel & Convention Center
  • 11. Western Music/Cowboy Songs  John Lomax, Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1911)  1st Recorded Cowboy Song Carl T Sprague, When The Work’s All Done This Fall  The Hollywood Singing Cowboy, Sons of the Saddle (1930)  John Wayne started as Singing Cowboy (1933)
  • 12. Western Music cont.  Singing Cowboys:  Gene Autrey, 1935 a serial The Phantom Empire (outer space and cowboys).  Roy Rogers (Leonard Sly) Song of the Pioneers led to Movie & TV Career with Dale Evans.  Both Autrey and Rogers had TV Shows
  • 13. Western Swing  A Combination of Swing and Cowboy  String Band with Trumpets, Saxophones, and Drums  1931 Burrus Mill & Elevator Company started the Light Crust Doughboys  Bob Wills & the Playboys; Bob Wills left the Doughboys in 1931 and formed the Playboys
  • 14. Bluegrass  A Stylized version of Old Time Country music  Instrumentation: Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, String Bass  Vocals feature high male harmony, High Lonesome Sound  Monroe considered Father of Bluegrass  Monroe Brothers recorded 60 songs 19363-8  Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys formed 1939 played Grand Ole Opry
  • 15. Bluegrass  Well-Known Bluegrass: Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs
  • 16. Honky Tonk  Origin of the term is vague: 1889 there was a theater in Ft Worth, TX called Honky Tonk Theater  Texas/Oklahoma Bar featuring music  Move off Farm for Urban Employment & Breakdown of Family Structure
  • 17. Honky Tonk cont.  Bands: Steel Guitar & Fiddle are Featured  Themes: Alcohol, Adultery, Lost Love, Loneliness  Floyd Tillman, Hank Williams, George Jones, Ernst Tubb, Hank Thompson