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It’s Country Music Time!
When we talk about classical country music at Bear Family Records, we mean country music from the 1940s to the 1970s, which includes the different modes of playing the Honky Tonk Sound, the Nashville Sound, and the Bakersfield Sound.
Honky Tonk Sound:
Honky Tonk Sound was created in Texas in the late 1940s, primarily in the areas where oil was mined, and was mostly represented in the local dance halls, bars and clubs, which were often very busy. To make the music audible, they began to amplify it electrically and accompanied with drums. Thematically it was often about everyday problems and the lyrics were very direct. Popular topics in the 'Honky Tonk Music' are for example ‚women‘ (Honky Tonk had mostly male performers), beer, singing and dancing. Among the most popular representatives of the 'Honky Tonk Sound‘ are Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Ernest Tubb, Loretta Lynn and Webb Pierce,
The so-called 'Nashville Sound' was produced as the name implies in Nashville, Tennessee. In the 1950s, country music lost ground to Rock 'n' Roll and Pop music. The producers tried to counteract by smoothing out the 'raw' sound of Country music and for example underscored the songs with choirs. Among the most well-known and successful producers of the 'Nashville Sound‘ are Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley, who are well known for the success of artists like Jim Reeves, Skeeter Davis, Tammy Wynette, Eddy Arnold.
The 'Bakersfield Sound' was created in Bakersfield, California in the late 1950s, and is strongly inspired by the classic ‚Honky Tonk Sound' and the ’Rockabilly Music' of the 1950s. The classic features of the 'Bakersfield Sounds' include the electrically amplified instruments and the hard and high-pitched guitars. Among the best known representatives of the Bakersfield Sounds include Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart and Merle Haggard.