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Traditional Country Music
Country (or country and western) is a musical genre that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music (especially Appalachian folk music) and blues. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms, folk lyric and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, steel guitars (such as pedal steels and dobros), and fiddles as well as harmonicas. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history.
According to Lindsey Starnes, the term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. In 2009, in the United States country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute.
The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are the folk music of working class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, and cowboy songs, and various musical traditions from European immigrant communities.
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Born Roy Claxton Acuff on September 15, 1903, in Maynardville, Tennessee, his colorful career in country music ran from 1936-1992. He was also referred to as the ‘King of Country Music.’ Having been revered with such a prestigious title in the industry of music, one can attest that Roy Acuff contributed greatly to the genre we all love and celebrate today.
He was a singer, a fiddler, and a promoter often given credit due to how he transformed country’s early style of string bands and hoedown format to a style that involved the star singer-based format. His transition led to the international success of the said genre. Aside from that, Roy Acuff was also widely known by country listeners and critics as a “hillbilly music” traditionalist.
Aside from his musical talent, Acuff also had a strong natural charisma that drew crowds of people wherever he performed. It was such a convenient and befitting gift especially for someone who was at the height of building his career. He first gained regional attention when he performed as both the singer and fiddler for his group, the Smoky Mountain Boys. Shortly after, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938 and remained as one of the chief promoters and brightest stars of the Opry House despite the decline in his fame during the late 1940’s. Due to his immense talent and contribution to country music, he was even Country Music Hall of Fame’s first-ever living inductee.
Acuff released over 40 albums, 36 singles, and 2 guest singles. His most famous hits include Freight Train Blues, Great Speckled Bird, The House of the Rising Sun, Life’s Highway to Heaven, Back in the Country, Meeting in the Air, That Glory Bound Train, When I Lay My Burden Down, Tennessee Waltz, and Wabash Cannonball. Most of his songs are deeply rooted in his religious influence.
In 1942, Acuff became co-founder of the first major publishing company for country music based in Nashville. The company was named Acuff-Rose Music. Among the artists that were signed under Acuff-Rose were Hank Williams, the Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison.
He was 98 years old when he passed away due to congestive heart failure. To honor his legacy, Opryland put up a theatre named after him in 1979. Sadly, the theater was demolished due to the extensive damages it received during the Tennessee floods in 2010.
This year marks the 25th death anniversary of the legendary Roy Acuff. He may have passed long ago, but his noteworthy presence in the world of music will forever be deemed a huge stepping stone into how successful country music has become today.
January 22, 1952
Alabama is an American country, Southern rock band formed in Fort Payne, Alabama in 1969. The band was founded by Randy Owen and his cousin Teddy Gentry.
The band was founded by Randy Owen and his cousin Teddy Gentry. They were soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook. First operating under the name Wildcountry, the group toured the Southeast bar circuit in the early 1970s, and began writing original songs. They changed their name to Alabama in 1977 and following the chart success of two singles, were approached by RCA Records for a record deal.
Teddy Wayne Gentry was born in Fort Payne, Alabama on January 22, 1952. At an early age, Teddy moved to nearby Lookout Mountain with his mother to live with his grandfather, Paw Paw. Paw Paw lived in a wooden frame house on a 60 acre cotton farm.
After graduating from High School , early in his music career, Teddy worked many other jobs to pay the rent. Teddy recalls he did just about everything, "I ran a theatre, I laid carpet, I bagged groceries and I worked on a farm."
When not playing with Alabama, Teddy enjoys spending time with his family and directing operations at his Bent Tree Farms. After receiving his first check from RCA records in 1980 for $61,000, he asked his wife Linda what he should do with the money. She answered, "What means the most to you?" "Why don't you buy your grandfathers farm--where you were raised, because I know you love the old place."
Well, that's exactly what he did. His grandfather agreed to sell the 60-acre cotton farm, soon to be named Bent Tree Farms, for $1000 an acre, where he had lived since the late 1920’s . . . . Read More
January 22, 1969
Glen Campbell earns his first gold single from the RIAA for "Wichita Lineman."
"Wichita Lineman" is a song written by American songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1968. It was first recorded by American country music artist Glen Campbell with backing from members of The Wrecking Crew and widely covered by other artists.
Glen Travis Campbell was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor. He was best known for a series of hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television, from January 1969 through June 1972.
Lived: Apr 22, 1936 - Aug 08, 2017 (age 81)
Height: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
Spouse: Kim Campbell (m. 1982) · Sarah Barg (m. 1976 - 1980) · Billie Jean Nunley (m. 1959 - 1975) · Diane Kirk (m. 1955 - 1959)
Children: Ashley Campbell (Daughter) · Debbie Campbell (Daughter) · Kelli Campbell (Daughter) · Cal Campbell (Son) · Travis Campbell (Son) · Shannon Campbell (Son) · Kane Campbell (Son) · Dylan Campbell (Son)
Member of: The Beach Boys · The Wrecking Crew · The Champs · The Gee Cees · Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell · Glen Campbell & Michelle Shocked with Texas Tornados · Glen Campbell & Rita Coolidge · Glen Campbell & Leslie Satcher
Parents: Carrie Dell (Mother)
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From his roots in Atlanta, Ga. to the bright lights of Nashville, Tenn., Jerry Reed captured listeners’ imaginations with his guitar picking and songwriting skills. Those undeniable talents of one of the best male country performers of his era reached an audience beyond the heart of Dixie, due in part to Reed’s winning sense of humor and unique vocal delivery.
As a genuine country music singer with the personality to charm his way into Hollywood circles, Reed took the genre uptown without compromising an authentic good ole boy image. Basically, he was Jim Varney with musical talent, or Waylon Jennings and Bobby Bare with a slightly softer image and better acting chops. Or maybe he was musical collaborator Elvis Presley, with better luck at landing a role in a decade-defining film.
Reed’s widespread acclaim in the 1970’s and recent Country Music Hall of Fame nod might not have happened without a large and diverse catalog of country music recordings, mostly with RCA. These Reed songs exemplify how his music both launched and furthered his run as a legitimate celebrity . . . . Read More
Country singer Mickey Gilley is the new face of a campaign aiming to keep Tennessee residents safe while in a motor vehicle. Earlier this month, the 81-year-old was injured when his vehicle rolled over three times off the highway. After surviving the wreck with a few injuries, Gilley has decided to try and help save other lives by teaming up with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.
The office has launched a new campaign that uses Gilley’s story of survival to encourage Tennessee drivers to always buckle their seat belts while in a car. “Had I not been wearing my seatbelt, I’m sure I would’ve been ejected,” Gilley said in a statement. “My car rolled about three times over. I want to share my story with Tennesseans to encourage everyone in the South to take pride in wearing seatbelts, because seatbelts do save lives.”
Shortly after news of his injuries initially broke, Gilley took to Facebook to share an update. “I have a fractured left ankle and a fractured right shoulder,” Gilley wrote. “I am having a hard time walking because I have a big boot on my left leg. But other than that I’m doing pretty good. To be 81 years old and put myself through what I’ve been through it’s kinda tough sometimes on the old man but I don’t intend to retire. I will be out there on the road and I’ll see you real soon.”
January 18, 2013
George Strait launches the Cowboy Rides Away Tour, his last official concert trek, at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas, with opener Martina McBride. Strait's set includes "Here For A Good Time," "The Chair" and "Folsom Prison Blues."
The Cowboy Rides Away Tour was a concert tour by American country music artist George Strait. The tour was divided into two legs: 21 concerts in 2013 and 27 concerts in 2014, for a total of 48 concerts, all in the United States. The tour started on January 18, 2013 in Lubbock, Texas, and ended in Arlington, Texas, on June 7, 2014. Strait was supported on the tour by his longtime eleven-member touring group, the Ace in the Hole Band. Appearing in arenas with six stadium dates included, Strait performed many of his most popular recordings and performance songs, including uptempo hits such as "Here for a Good Time", "Ocean Front Property", "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls", and "Troubadour", and softer ballads such as "I Saw God Today", "The Chair", and "I Can Still Make Cheyenne". His encores included "All My Ex's Live in Texas" and "Folsom Prison Blues", and he closed each show with one of his earliest hit songs, "The Cowboy Rides Away". This song that inspired the name for the tour was written by Sonny Throckmorton and Casey Kelly.
The tour received positive reviews, with one reviewer calling his shows "an embarrassment of riches", and another recognizing Strait's "compelling stage presence and vocal power". All 48 concerts were sold out, and for the week of February 7, 2014, the Cowboy Rides Away Tour was the top-grossing tour in the United States. The final concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which featured special guests Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Jason Aldean, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, and Sheryl Crow, drew 104,793 fans—the largest attendance at a single-show concert in the United States. The concert also set a record for the largest gross at a single-show country concert, $18,194,374. In 2013 he was named Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, and in 2014 he was named Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year.
January 18, 2007
Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby tape a new edition of "CMT Crossroads" in Nashville. The set list includes "Mandolin Rain" and "Don't Get Above Your Raising." They're also joined by John Anderson for a surprise rendition of "Super Freak."
"Mandolin Rain" is the third track from The Way It Is, the debut album for Bruce Hornsby and the Range. The song, released in late 1986, was a #4 hit single for the band in March 1987, following on the success of their previous single, the #1 hit and title track of their debut album, "The Way It Is". It also reached #1 on the adult contemporary chart for three weeks, and #2 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for two weeks, also in early 1987. The song even reached the Top 40 on the Country chart, hitting number 38.
Now I got a gal that's sweet to me
She just ain't what she used to be
Just a little high headed
Thats plain to see.
Don't get above your raising
Stay down on earth with me
Now looky here gal don't you high hat me
I ain't forgot what you used to be.
When you didn't have nothing
That was plain to see
Don't get above your raising
Stay down on earth with me.
On this day, 32 years ago (Jan. 17, 1986), Reba McEntire fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
McEntire's induction was part of a big milestone for the Opry: The Oklahoma native became an official member of the revered organization during a televised special honoring the Grand Ole Opry's 60th anniversary. But while most people were in a celebratory mood that evening, one country artist, Hank Snow, boycotted the show after producers limited him to one verse of his hit "I'm Moving On."
Still, McEntire didn't let the off-screen drama affect her big night. She even returned to the famous stage three days later to perform her newest single, "Whoever's in New England," which became her fifth No. 1 hit. McEntire's induction into the hallowed hall came nine years after she made her Grand Ole Opry debut in 1977. That evening, she was originally planning on performing two songs, but her time on stage was reduced to one song due to an unexpected appearance by Dolly Parton.
McEntire has said that the Grand Ole Opry is still one of her favorite places to perform. “The Grand Ole Opry is a home," the country legend says. "It’s a family. It’s like a family reunion, when you come back and get to see everybody.”
Reba Nell McEntire is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She began her career in the music industry as a high school student singing in the Kiowa High School band, on local radio shows with her siblings, and at rodeos. While a sophomore in college, she performed the National Anthem at the National Rodeo in Oklahoma City and caught the attention of country artist Red Steagall who brought her to Nashville, Tennessee. She signed a contract with Mercury Records a year later in 1975. She released her first solo album in 1977 and released five additional studio albums under the label until 1983.
January 17, 1929
Thomas Grady Martin (January 17, 1929 – December 3, 2001)
Thomas Grady Martin was an American session guitarist in country music and rockabilly. A member of The Nashville A-Team, he played guitar on hits such as Marty Robbins' "El Paso", Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter" and Sammi Smith's "Help Me Make It Through the Night". During a nearly 50-year career, Martin backed such names as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Burnette, Don Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Bing Crosby. He is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, March 2015.
In 1978, with his studio career over, Martin returned to the life of a touring musician, first with Jerry Reed and then as lead guitarist for Willie Nelson's band, appearing in Nelson's 1980 film Honeysuckle Rose. In 1994, deteriorating health forced him to retire, but he produced Nelson's 1995 honky tonk album, Just One Love.
The Nashville Entertainment Association gave him its first Master Award in 1983, and he was the 83rd inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. On April 5, 2000, he received a Chetty award for significant instrumental achievement at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium during the Chet Atkins Musician Days festival. Health problems prevented Martin from attending; Nelson, Vince Gill and Marty Stuart presented the award—named after Atkins, who attended—to Martin's son, Joshua. Grady Martin was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007.
He was married three times and had three daughters, Alisa, Angie and Julie; and seven sons, Grady Jr., Joe, Tal, Jason, Joshua, Justin and Steve. Martin died from a heart attack on December 3, 2001 in Lewisburg, Tennessee, and was interred at Hopper Cemetery in Marshall County, Tennessee.