Country and Western

Country music originated in the 20th century and has roots based in the blues, American folk music and Western ‘cowboy’ styles. The formal introduction of the genre can be traced back to the 1920s with Fiddlin’ John Carson’s Little Log Cabin in the Lane (June, 1923). This marked the first phase of country music which, within a year, grew to popularity with Vernon Dahart’s hit Wreck of the Old 97 (May, 1924). Jimmie Rodgers went on to fuse various influences to great success, leading to him being recognised as one of the foremost early country singers. As the Great Depression hit, there was a diversification of country styles into the 1930s and 1940s marking the second phase of traditional country music. One of the styles that rose to prominence was cowboy/western country due to popularisation in Hollywood and radio airplay. 

This included figures such as Gene Autry who took on the role of the heroic American cowboy singing about the hardships and dangers of cowboy life. The other influential style that rose to prominence was honky tonk music. With roots in western swing and traditional Mexican music, honky tonk music was heavily present in barrooms. One particularly notable artist of this style was Hank Williams who proved very influential to rockabilly and, by extension, rock and roll. Traditional country music can often be typified by the use of string instruments such as banjos, acoustic guitars, dobros, fiddles and bass, as well as the harmonica.

Notable artists:

Hank Williams

Jimmie Rodgers

Ernest Tubb

Kitty Wells

Gene Autry

If you want to commission your own music in this style, or would like more information or help, please contact us.