Scotts-Irish ballad singing in western North Carolina had a strong impact on what later became known as bluegrass music.
American folk music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of Appalachia. It has mixed roots in Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English traditional music, and also later influenced by the music of African-Americans through incorporation of jazz elements.
Immigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland arrived in Appalachia in the 18th century, and brought with them the musical traditions of their homelands. These traditions consisted primarily of English and Scottish ballads—which were essentially unaccompanied narrative—and dance music, such as Irish reels, which were accompanied by a fiddle. Many older Bluegrass songs come directly from the British Isles. Several Appalachian Bluegrass ballads, such as Pretty Saro, Barbara Allen, Cuckoo Bird and House Carpenter, come from England and preserve the English ballad tradition both melodically and lyrically. Others, such as The Twa Sisters, also come from England; however, the lyrics are about Ireland. Some Bluegrass fiddle songs popular in Appalachia, such as "Leather Britches", and "Pretty Polly", have Scottish roots. The dance tune Cumberland Gap may be derived from the tune that accompanies the Scottish ballad Bonnie George Campbell. Other songs have different names in different places; for instance in England there is an old ballad known as "A Brisk Young Sailor Courted Me", but exactly the same song in North American Bluegrass is known as "I Wish My Baby Was Born".
Culture of the Southern United States
American folk music is a musical term that encompasses numerous genres, many of which are known as traditional music, traditional folk music, contemporary folk music or roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American music. The music is considered American either because it is native to the United States or because it developed there, out of foreign origins, to such a degree that it struck musicologists as something distinctly new. It is considered "roots music" because it served as the basis of music later developed in the United States, including rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
Many roots musicians do not consider themselves to be folk musicians; the main difference between the American folk music revival and American "roots music" is that roots music seems to cover a slightly broader range, including blues and country.
The Culture of the Southern United States, or Southern Culture, is a subculture of the United States that is perhaps America's most distinct, in the minds both of its residents and of those in other parts of the country. The combination of its unique history and the fact that many Southerners maintain—and even nurture—an identity separate from the rest of the country has led to its being the most studied and written about region of the United States.
"More than any other part of America, the South stands apart. Thousands of Northerners and foreigners have migrated to it...but Southerners they will not become. For this is still a place where you must have either been born or have 'people' there, to feel it is your native ground.
Southern United States
Country music is a genre of American popular music that originated in the rural regions of the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from the southeastern genre of American folk music and Western music. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas.
The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. In 2009 country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute in the United States.
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—is an area comprising the southeastern and south-central United States. The region is known for its culture and history, having developed its own customs, musical styles and varied cuisines that have helped distinguish it in some ways from the rest of the United States. The Southern ethnic heritage is diverse and includes strong European (mostly English, Scotch-Irish and Scottish), African, and some Native American components. Several Southern states (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) were English Colonies that sent delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence and then fought against the English along with the Northern Colonists during the Revolutionary War. The basis for much Southern culture derives from the pride in these states being among the 13 original colonies (and much of the population of the South had fore-fathers who emigrated west from these colonies). Manners and customs reflect the early population of the South's relationship with England as well as that of Africa and to some extent the native populations.
Some other aspects of the historical and cultural development of the South have been influenced by an early support for the doctrine of states' rights, the institution of slave labor on plantations in the Lower South; the presence of a large proportion of African Americans in the population; and the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, as seen in thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), the segregated system of separate schools and public facilities known as "Jim Crow", that lasted until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to frequently deny blacks of the right to vote or hold office until the 1960s. In more modern times, however, the South has become the most integrated region of the country and race-relations on par with those elsewhere. Since the late 1960s blacks have held and currently hold many high offices, such as mayor and police chief, in many cities such as Atlanta and New Orleans.
American studies or American civilization is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the United States. It traditionally incorporates the study of history, literature, and critical theory, but also includes fields as diverse as law, art, the media, film, religious studies, urban studies, women's studies, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, African American studies, Chicano studies, Asian American studies, American Indian studies, foreign policy and culture of the United States, among other fields.
Vernon Louis Parrington is often cited as the founder of American studies for his three-volume Main Currents in American Thought, which combines the methodologies of literary criticism and historical research; it won the 1928 Pulitzer Prize. In the introduction to Main Currents in American Thought, Parrington described his field:]page needed[
Michelle Nixon is a bluegrass and acoustic country music artist. Born Michelle Denice Thurston on December 10, 1963 she grew up in central Virginia where she became involved in music at an early age. Nixon joined her first band at the age of 14, embarking on a musical journey that found her singing a variety of gospel and classic country music with different Virginia based bands. Gathering inspiration and style from, among others, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris, Nixon quickly developed her own powerful sound.
Larry Richardson (August 9, 1927- June 17, 2007) was an American bluegrass and old time banjoist and guitarist from Galax, Virginia. He is known for his work with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys, and the Blue Ridge Boys.
Larry Richardson began his bluegrass career with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers alongside mandolin player Bobby Osborne of Osborne Brothers fame. These two musicians are credited for transforming the band from western swing to bluegrass music in 1949. Larry and Bobby left the band after only a year and were replaced by Jimmy and Paul Williams. After Larry's brief time with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, he joined Bill Monroe as a banjo player from 1950-1951. He never made a recording as a "Bluegrass Boy". Larry then went on to work for Carl and J.P. Sauceman who ran a bluegrass show on WREN (AM).
western North Carolina
North Carolina (i/ /) is a state in Southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th most extensive and the 10th most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is known as the Tar Heel State and the Old North State.
North Carolina is composed of 100 counties. North Carolina's two largest metropolitan areas are among the top ten fastest growing in the country: its capital, Raleigh, and its largest city, Charlotte. In the past five decades, North Carolina's economy has undergone a transition from heavy reliance upon tobacco, textiles, and furniture making to a more diversified economy with engineering, energy, biotechnology, and finance sectors.
Western North Carolina (often abbreviated as WNC) is the region of North Carolina which includes the Appalachian Mountains, thus it is often known geographically as the state's Mountain Region. It contains the highest mountains in the Eastern United States. Western North Carolina is sometimes included with upstate South Carolina as the "Western Carolinas", which is also counted as a single media market. The region covers an area of about 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2), and is roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts. The population of the region, as measured by the 2010 U.S. Census, is 1,399,954.
The term Land of the Sky (or Land-of-Sky) is a common nickname for this mountainous region and has been more recently adopted to refer to the Asheville area. (Areas in the northwest portion of the region, including Boone and Blowing Rock, commonly use the nickname "The High Country", rather than "Land of the Sky") The term is derived from the title of the book, Land of the Sky, written by Mrs. Frances Tiernan, under the pseudonym Christian Reid. The book often mentions the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the two main ranges that are found in Western North Carolina. The Asheville area regional government body, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, utilizes the nickname.