The early 1900s saw the beginning of country music but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that country music as a legitimate recordable genre came to be. Eck Robertson is credited with making the first commercial country music record back in 1922, but it was a further 2 years until there was a country music hit record when Vernon Dalhart released ‘Wreck of the Old’97’ in 1924. Country music really burst on the scene though when in 1927 Victor Records signed The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.
Jimmie Rodgers is considered to be the ‘Father of Country Music’ and was popular immediately. He is also the first artist to sell a million copies of a single (Blue Yodel #1). He was recording from 1927 until his death in 1933.
The Carter Family
The Carter Family were the first country music vocal group to record, and they released their first set of music in 1927. They are even today considered to be the ‘First Family of Country Music’.
Popular Country Music Stars
There have been several movements within the country music genre, but the Outlaw Movement, which spawned singing sensations such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings really made its mark and turned country music as we knew it on its head. It led to the rise of stars such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rodgers and Billie Jo Spears, all names synonymous with the country music style. Duets were not uncommon, with the likes of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers teaming up to give us the beautiful ‘Islands in the Stream’.
Nowadays, there are many country music stars that cross over into mainstream music too, think Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. It helps to keep country music relevant to the younger generation who missed out on the delightful singing starlets like Crystal Gayle and Tanya Tucker.