In this day and age, pop, R&B and Hip-Pop music dominates American Radio Station at every turn. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pink, Usher, Maroon5 and many are commonplace names among teenagers and younger people not only in the United States, but all around the world. Especially, when you listen to the radio those songs will repeat whole day from all the stations. I tried to get used to those beats and like it. I thought this must be American modern culture. As a foreign student, I want to learn American culture and also want to fit in it. Until one day I met my friend Christie, a pretty girl from Nashville. Still remembered that day when I got into her car, she smiled and asked me what kind of music I like before she turned on the radio? This surprised me a little bit. Then she shyly explained that since she is from southern of United States, she loves country music and she also set a country music channel in her car. On the way back home she introduced history of country music to me and we listened to lot of country music during the time. Her eyes lighted up when she told me about the country music, I can tell how proud she is because she is from the city which is the center of country music. Christie told me she loves country music because she grew up country, its part of her life the stories country songs tell describe her life. From then on, I started my journey of country music. I started to search and study country music. Once I get into it, I feel like it deeply attracted me. Sometimes when you get sick of the heavy metal, drum-set and rap stuff, which the beat and rhythms of pop sound the same to me, country music is like a green tea in your life, simple ,distinct but endless aftertastes. I am so glad I found another pure land of American culture.
Country music is a kind of contemporary pop music, originated in the southern United States and Appalachia mountains. Country music is rooted in the 1920s from the traditional folk music, integrated with Gospel music, Celtic music and classical music. The melody of country music is generally very smooth, beautiful and the phrasing structure also is simple. The most common instruments used in country music include the fiddle violin, banjo, and slide-guitar. When I was listening to it, I felt like country music is journal of person’s life, it can also relate to your own life. You can find a country song for any mood you are in, any emotion you want to express. Country music can put your spirits where they need to be, when I am down a song can lift me up, or if I feel like crying a tear in my wine, there is a song for that too.
I tried to google and listen to the different country music from 1930’s to present, from Jimmie Rodgers to Taylor Swift, which amazed me a lot from this music journey. It’s like time traveling through American history. In the 1950s, people more like to talk about love and money. In the 1960s, songs were often full of anger, and some of them made fun of the political leaders. During the 1990s, American country music has become more and more popular. Song writers are no longer writing about the modern values of USA—money, success or expensive things to buy. Instead they are writing once more about things that are common for everyone.
Who is the first real country star? I think it must goes to Jimmie Rodgers which American also called him country music’s father. It seems as if he has been long forgotten today. But his music’s influence is huge. He refined the hillbilly style of music which was music for poor people. I think his songs also reflect the great depression of the 1920s and 1930s, one of the greatest economic crises to face the United States. He reached the hearts of millions of people around the world, and lifts them up. Jimmie Rodgers first became a legend and hero during that time. I think the key he brought to country music was heart. In Gambling Bar Room Blues, you can hear the pain in his voice…