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Country & Western

Who was the most influential artist?

Hank Williams was the most influential artist within the hillbilly style. He took over from Jimmie Rodgers and created a repertoire of songs that has been the basis for virtually all subsequent artists in this genre.

He managed to record numerous hits with Metro Goldwyn Mayer, standing out as a performer of the honky tonk style. His charismatic interpretations and compositions made him an icon of country music.

Hank Williams – Honky Tonkin’ (1947)

A song of his own authorship in which he demonstrates the honky tonk style. In this performance he is accompanied by his band, The Drifting Cowboys.

Hank Williams was born in Mount Olive, Alabama, in 1923. Despite his short career - he died at the age of 29 - he is one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, influencing the pioneers of rock and roll. He inaugurated the honky-tonk style that took its name from rough southern venues for working class customers. They served alcohol and offered shows by soloists and small bands. His son Hank Williams Jr. and his grandson Hank Williams III are the continuation of his work.

How did country music spread?

During the 1930s and 1940s, radio became the main vehicle for the spread of country music. In the United States, barn dances are popular programs that promote a large number of artists.

Among them all, the Grand Ole Opry stands out, the longest running program in the history of world radio. Broadcast by the legendary WSM in Nashville, it features all kinds of country music sub styles.

Bob Wills – Take Me Back to Tulsa (1941)

Song composed by Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan. It is a clear example of western swing, an understory of country music with a great content of swing jazz.

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The Grand Ole Opry radio program has not stopped broadcasting since it began in 1925 in Nashville, the country music capital of the world. It featured a multitude of musicians from the American Great Plains. One of them was Bob Wills, born on a cotton farm near Kosse, Texas, and son of the state champion in fiddle playing. He became very popular with his band, The Playboys, even appearing in Hollywood cowboy movies.

What is western music like?

In the 1940s, western music was incorporated into the country name. These are the cowboy songs that had been recorded since the 1920s and are now becoming popular thanks to Hollywood films.

Other musicians like The Delmore Brothers practiced hillbilly boogie or a mixture of country and boogie-woogie. This underestimation influenced young people like Jerry Lee Lewis, who on the piano would become a rock and roll legend.

The Delmore Brothers – Freight Train Boogie (1946)

Theme composed by Jim Scott and recorded in Cincinnati with Wayne Rayney on harmonica. In it we find the hillbilly boogie that would later evolve into rockabilly.

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The brothers Alton and Rabon Delmore were born in the plot their parents had rented in Elkmont (Alabama). Raised in a rich musical tradition, they were among the pioneers of country music discovered by The Grand Ole Opry program in the 1930s. They created a personal style based on gospel harmonies and a fast guitar playing characteristic of Appalachian folk and blues. Their recordings for King Records are considered by many to be the first rock and roll albums.

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