It is a staple music in the United States, especially in the southern United States. Is this music exclusively for white American conservatives? What does it mean in American culture? Where she comes from ?
There are titles that are clearly part of the country’s heritage. What Take me home along country roads by John Denver or the ballad Always in my mind, by Willie Nelson. A song that has also been covered in an electro version by the Pet Shop Boys. From a formal point of view, the country is a mixed bag. This music has its roots in southeastern folk and western cowboy music.
During racial segregation there was a separation: on the one hand, folk, which has become counter-music for whites, and on the other, gospel and rhythm and blues for blacks. Slowly, Black singers have been erased from country music history.
What is country music?
The question of the classification of countries has remained at rest in recent years. In 2019, Lil Nas X, a young 19-year-old rapper, hits the spot with the title Old Town Road. Musically and even in the clip, there are a lot of country references.
The classification Billboard, which sets the benchmark (brings together record sales, radio appearances, etc.), puts the song at the top in the R&B category and 19th in the country category. Before finally removing it from the ranking of countries …
Immediate controversy: is it because of Lil Nas X’s skin color? Magazine Billboard He replies that it has nothing to do with it, that it is a question of musicality. That the main element to define country music is the voice …
There has always been a problem with the classification of country music. In the postwar years it was called “folk” in commerce and “hillbilly” (“pèquenaud”) in industry. In 1944 Billboard replace the term “hillbilly” with “folk songs and blues”, then with “country”.
>> A letter from America, a series of exceptional episodes that are found every Tuesday. A sound postcard to help us better understand this America of today, so familiar and, at times, totally disconcerting. A podcast from RTL Originals.