From the fun to the solemn to the iconic, Souza's photographs defined an administration.
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.
- 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:
@1a “Watch the Wind Blow By” by Tim McGraw. He’s really the only country artist I like.
— hodge podge (@lauralauralarfs) February 10, 2017
@1a Oh Sarah, by Sturgill Simpson
— geoffrey crowe (@GA_Crowe) February 10, 2017
@1a working man blues, Merle Haggard. For that matter any thing by Merle
— Tom Sheets (@Sh1Thomas) February 12, 2017
@1a Why Don’t We Just Dance by Josh Turner
— Sarah Gullickson (@ghoullickson) February 10, 2017
— Laura Frese (@LauraSoo) February 10, 2017
@1a Record Year by Eric Church
— Renee Gennarelli (@redfox1235) February 10, 2017
@1a fancy by Reba mcentire
Or check yes or no by George strait
— Tad Hopp (@taderpillar) February 10, 2017
@1a Rex’s Blues by Townes Van Zandt
— Ellie Dudding (@elliedudding) February 11, 2017
@1a the Dixie Chicks’ interlude of “Long Time Gone” in Beyoncé’s “Daddy Lessons” performance at the CMAs. Great blending of musical genres 🌟
— Dakotah James 🏳️🌈 (@itsdakotah) February 12, 2017
@1a Jolene by Dolly Parton
— jema (@jema5445) February 10, 2017
@1a The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
— Kurt Almendras (@teacherkurt) February 11, 2017
@1a Patsy Cline. Crazy? Just, anything she sang.
— Liz (@lizzieyjs) February 10, 2017
@1a Joanne by Michael Nesmith.
— J Corley (@jlhcorley) February 12, 2017
@1a Kacey Musgraves, “Follow Your Arrow”
— (((Gabe Rosenberg))) (@GabrielJR) February 12, 2017
— Corey Schreppel (@coreyschreppel) February 10, 2017