Country singer Toby Keith performs for US President-elect Donald Trump and his family during a welcome celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 19.

Country singer Toby Keith performs for US President-elect Donald Trump and his family during a welcome celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 19.

Do you listen to country music? More than 40 percent of Americans do, according to the Country Music Association. CMA also found those fans are younger and less white than ever — and they aren’t all poor Southerners, either. Like its listeners, today’s country music is more nuanced than outsiders might think.

In a boot-scootin’ 1A, we look at what country is, who it’s for, and where it’s headed, as pop stars like Beyoncé dip into the genre, and back-to-the-roots country singers Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton earn mainstream accolades.

Guests

  • Jocelyn Neal Professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of Country Music, and co-author of Country Music, USA.
  • Amanda Petrusich Contributing writer, The New Yorker; author of “Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records"
  • Sam Outlaw Country music singer-songwriter.
  • Kristian Bush Singer, songwriter and producer, and one half of the group Sugarland.
  • Kurt Bardella Author of the Morning Hangover Tipsheet, a newsletter about country music, and a PR consultant.

Your Favorite Country Songs

We asked: If you wanted to convince someone to listen to country music, but could only play them one song, what would it be? Here’s a sample of the responses:

Playlist Of Songs Mentioned On The Show

Sturgill Simpson's Tiny Desk Concert

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