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Country Music

Essay Topic:

Country Music Purpose: The purpose and goal of this speech is to inform my classmates of the Country music and its importance. Thesis: In order to understand the impact of Country music on the very music we listen to today, we need to understand its history, the artists who made the genre what it is today, and the country artist who have found success today. Organizational Pattern: Chronological I. Introduction a. Attention Getter: Who here listens to music? In the survey I’d say almost all of you have filled out, I was surprised to see six people had answered country music as their favorite genre.

That made it the highest chosen, next to Pop. b.

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Relevance: So all of you here listen to music at some point in any given day, it should be fairly obvious how any kind of music could be relevant to you and your present life. c. Credibility: Being a fan of Country music myself, and after several weeks of conducting research on the subject, I have been very much interested in the artists Country music since I reluctantly began listening a little over a year ago. d.

Thesis: In order to understand the impact of Country music on the very music we listen to today, we need to understand its history, the artists who made the genre what it is today, and the country artist who have found success today. e. Preview: So first, we will learn about and understand where Country began and how it evolved. Then I’ll tell you about the artists who made the genre popular. And finally wrap things up by speaking about the Country artists who are successful and popular today. Transition: So I’ll start with the roots of country music and how it evolved into the country songs we hear today.

II. Body f. First, Country music’s origins will be discussed i. In the book Country Music, U. S. A. , written by Bill C. Malone and published in 1985, he says that Country music is “older than the South itself. ” Which means, as far back as it goes, the more music it has inspired, and influenced in the future years. ii. Country music was recognized by the beats, use of fiddles, and steel guitars and in the twentieth century, society began to urbanize and people flocked to big cities like Chicago and New York, which then created anti-rural feelings.

Southern Grassroots bridged the gap between urban and rural. 1. This occurred right around the same time as the radio becoming popular. The radio made it much easier for urban influence to reach far out farm homes in the boonies. This was extremely important in Country music’s discovery and refinement into the genre we know today. iii. During the war years Country music had flourished and changed drastically 2. Pre-World War One the music industry was mostly a sheet music business. However, during the war years it evolved into a political tool for rallying the country together. . Jumping to the next World War, after the attack on Pearl Harbor patriotism in the country has soared, and the rural population which produced most of the nation’s country music, had ‘liberated by war’ as stated by the previous source mentioned. iv. After the Second World War, there was a boom in Country music’s popularity. This also began the movement of Country artist performing ‘crossovers’. Which was music that was 4. This is the type of music that was produced by legends like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.

A few years later in the 50’s artists like Johnny Cash also emerged. I should also mention this genre was coined ‘Rockabillies’ being a mix of Rock and Hillbilly music. 5. This also caused a huge boom of music produced in Nashville, which then became known as the capital of Rock and Roll, and remains to be until this day. And from Nashville the music continued to evolve into the Country music we listen to, or hear about today. Transition: Speaking of the artists I have just mentioned above, I’m going to now talk about the artists who have inspired music as we know it. . As I’ve previously mentioned, and some of you may have been surprised by Elvis’ name mentioned along with other Country artists. His style and music had begun influencing not only country music but an entire generation of future artists. v. He was one of the first artists to be considered very popular in the ‘rockabilly’ genre. His captivating voice and bad-boy hairstyle and clothing was the absolute most exciting thing for teens in the 50’s, and influenced music as we know it. vi. Another artist that came about in this time is Johnny Cash.

He is more of a true country artist than most would consider Elvis because he stuck more to bluegrass and blues type roots. vii. Johnny Cash lived a literal rock and roll out of control life. He went through marriages and drugs like it was as vital to him as air. Continuing to make music until the 2000’s. One of his final songs released was a cover of Nine Inch Nails, ‘Hurt’ that according to Nine Inch Nails singer Trent Reznor in a VH1 interview, “It sounded as though my version was the cover, and the song was written for Cash. Transition: Now that you know more about the artists who made country popular, let’s talk about those who make country as we know it popular. h. I realize that not everyone here likes or enjoys country music, but I have no doubt that almost every person here can name at least one country artist. viii. Country music concerts sell out all across the United States, and even the big country music festival, Country Thunder, attracts hundreds of people every year as it continues to grow. ix. Artists like Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, and Carrie Underwood are artists who continue to be successful country music artists in the music industry today.

They continue to top Billboard Charts and sell out their own concerts. Transition: (cue visual aid) Now that we’ve seen Country artists both past and present who have been successful in making Country popular, we have a better understanding of the genre. III. Conclusion i. Thesis/Summary: It holds true that the same research done with Country music here, can be repeated with any genre, and we would still find a long history filled with artists who have been inspired, and inspire generations of artists, as well as finding current artists within the genre today. j.

Memorable close: Even though Country might not be your favorite, but musicians like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash had laid the foundation for the very music you listen to today. Refrences Malone, Bill C. Country Music U. S. A. ; a Fifty-year History,. Austin: Published for the American Folklore Society by the University of Texas, 1968. Print. Lynskey, Dorian. 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day. New York: Ecco, 2011. Print. Holt, Fabian. Genre in Popular Music. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2007. Print. Petrusich, Amanda.

It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the next American Music. New York: Faber and Faber, 2008. Print. Campion, James. “Elvis Presley – The Bad, The Sweet And The Boogie – Author James Campion Rates the King’s Effect on the 20th Century. ” Elvis Presley – The Bad, The Sweet And The Boogie – Author James Campion Rates the King’s Effect on the 20th Century. N. p. , July-Aug. 1996. Web. 04 Oct. 2012. <http://www. jamescampion. com/elvis. html>. “Johnny Cash Biography. ” CMT: Country Music Television. N. p. , n. d. Web. 04 Oct. 2012. <http://www. cmt. com/artists/az/cash_johnny/bio. jhtml>.

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