Country music

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Country music is an American popular musical form, with roots in traditional folk music. Initially derived from the same Appalachian and celtic folk tradition as bluegrass, country music is now one of the most popular forms of music in the world, particularly in the southern United States. Country music often includes steel guitar, fiddle (violin), and acoustic guitar although drums and electric guitar have become standard instruments also. The term "Country & Western" is now considered obsolete.

At the time of its early popularity, country shared America's affection with swing music, a type of jazz and enterprising musicians such as Bob Wills fused the two to form western swing.

During the 1960s, country music became a multi-million dollar industry centered on Nashville, Tennessee. Under the direction of Chet Atkins, the Nashville sound brought country music to a diverse audience. Although country music has great stylistic diversity, this diversity is not usually well-reflected in radio airplay and the popular perception of country music is still dominated by maudlin ballads.

In the 90's a new form of country music was emerging, called by some alt-country, or by others Insurgent Country. Performed by younger musicians and inspired by traditional country performers it shunned the popular, nashville sound of mainstream country and borrowed more from punk and rock groups than the popularized nashville country which it viewed with disdain.

Early Innovators:


Present Performers:

Alt-Country Performers:

Television and radio shows of note: