Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electric guitar to his band, in Red Foley , the biggest country star following World War II, had one of the first million-selling gospel hits " Peace in the Valley " and also sang boogie, blues and rockabilly. By the early s a blend of Western swing, country boogie, and honky tonk was played by most country bands. These revamped songs sought to portray American truckers as a "new folk hero", marking a significant shift in sound from earlier country music. Only a handful of folk artists, such as Burl Ives , John Denver and Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot , would cross over into country music after the folk revival died out. In the aftermath of the British Invasion , many desired a return to the "old values" of rock n' roll. For several decades Nashville session players preferred the warm tones of the Gibson and Gretsch archtop electrics, but a "hot" Fender style, using guitars which became available beginning in the early s, eventually prevailed as the signature guitar sound of country. It became known as honky tonk and had its roots in Western swing and the ranchera music of Mexico and the border states, particularly Texas, together with the blues of the American South.
It became known as honky tonk and had its roots in Western swing and the ranchera music of Mexico and the border states, particularly Texas, together with the blues of the American South. During the mids a group of new artists began to emerge who rejected the more polished country-pop sound that had been prominent on radio and the charts in favor of more traditional "back-to-basics" production; this neotraditional movement would dominate country music through the late s and was typified by the likes of George Strait. Beginning in the mids, and reaching its peak during the early s, the Nashville sound turned country music into a multimillion-dollar industry centered in Nashville, Tennessee ; Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves were two of the most broadly popular Nashville sound artists, and their deaths in separate plane crashes in the early s were a factor in the genre's decline. Third generation s—s [ edit ] See also: Webb Pierce was the top-charting country artist of the s, with 13 of his singles spending weeks at number one. He charted 48 singles during the decade; 31 reached the top ten and 26 reached the top four. The song was written by actual truckers and contained numerous references to the trucker culture of the time like "ICC" for Interstate Commerce Commission and "little white pills" as a reference to amphetamines. The influence of rock music in country has become more overt during the late s and early s. Bluegrass, folk and gospel[ edit ] Main article: Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys personified this music which has been described as "a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, a little bit of black and a little bit of white Although drums were commonly used by rockabilly groups by , the less-conservative-than-the-Grand-Ole-Opry Louisiana Hayride kept its infrequently used drummer back stage as late as Congress has formally recognized Bristol, Tennessee as the "Birthplace of Country Music",  based on the historic Bristol recording sessions of In the mids, the Grand Ole Opry did not want the Playboys' drummer to appear on stage. Spade Cooley and Tex Williams also had very popular bands and appeared in films. At the same time there was a lack of enthusiasm in the country sector for Nashville-produced music. Before these, pioneer settlers, in the Great Smoky Mountains region, had developed a rich musical heritage. During the s and s, cowboy songs, or Western music, which had been recorded since the s, were popularized by films made in Hollywood. Williams' influence in particular would prove to be enormous, inspiring many of the pioneers of rock and roll,  such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis , as well as Chuck Berry and Ike Turner , while providing a framework for emerging honky tonk talents like George Jones. Bob Wills was another country musician from the Lower Great Plains who had become very popular as the leader of a " hot string band ," and who also appeared in Hollywood westerns. Gospel music , too, remained a popular component of bluegrass and other sorts of country music. Cowgirls contributed to the sound in various family groups. Immigrants to the southern Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America brought the music and instruments of Europe along with them for nearly years. By the early s, however, it was rare that a country band didn't have a drummer. Changing instrumentation[ edit ] Drums were scorned by early country musicians as being "too loud" and "not pure", but by Western swing big band leader Bob Wills had added drums to the Texas Playboys. Only a handful of folk artists, such as Burl Ives , John Denver and Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot , would cross over into country music after the folk revival died out. The trickle of what was initially called hillbilly boogie, or okie boogie later to be renamed country boogie , became a flood beginning in late
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