How Did Country Music Influence Rock And Roll?Posted by Mike Schuck
Let’s get one thing straight from the start – nothing about rock music is sacred!
Rock has always been influenced by other genres, and some of those styles have even become extinct. The late 70’s hair metal era, for example, was heavily inspired by glam-rock and hard rock and included songs with lyrics that seem very familiar to today’s rock listeners.
But while many consider this period of time as “uninteresting”, it did provide an important platform for artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and David Bowie. These musicians are still popularly listened to years later, which proves how well they sang their way into our hearts.
And what about all those bands that incorporated elements of punk? Many people may not know that early versions of famous groups such as The Beatles and AC/DC were considered more hardcore due to their use of heavy bass lines and guitar riffs!
So why should we be so passionate about country music? Because it totally transformed the face of American music!
Let me tell you a little story…
A few months ago I met someone who told me his grandfather refused to listen to any type of music after he heard it.
He said it was too fast or too loud, and therefore didn’t sound good.
I found this funny because my grandmother also shared a similar anecdote. She would never watch a movie without first listening to the soundtrack.
As we know, rock music was heavily influenced by country music. Artists such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen all have a significant amount of credit for adding new elements to the genre. However, none of these artists ever really abandoned their roots completely; you can always tell what band an artist is in touch with through their songs.
For instance, look at how much influence “Good Girl” has on anyone that listens to it. If you listen closely, the song sounds like it could be about anything — a love affair, a friendship, or even just someone trying to convince themselves they are not totally worthless. It is very possible to connect the lyrics with any situation, which makes the song very versatile.
Country singer Johnny Cash was one of the most influential musicians in the history of both genres. He did not necessarily fit into either category, but his style stood out among others at the time. His voice was powerful and rich, he sang mostly ballads, and his wardrobe consisted almost entirely of leather pants and cowboy hats.
He does not sound like other singers because he cannot seem to meet a tone and instead uses his voice to express himself. This is why some of his songs still stand up today, and people find them relatable.
The music of Bob Dylan is arguably one of the most influential styles in all of popular music. His lyrics have inspired many artists to try their hand at writing poetry, and his songs continue to be quoted and referenced throughout the industry.
His style has been described as folk-rock, psychedelic rock, protest song, and singer-songwriter music. While some may classify him as just plain old rock n’ roll, he does not see it that way.
He says that “Rock and roll was something I made up. It wasn't like there were roots, you know? There's no such thing as rock 'n' roll."1
Dylan goes onto say that even referring to what people consider classic rock is inaccurate because none of those bands are still around today!2 He believes that we should refer to our current era as "classic pop" instead.3
This idea makes sense to me. When I listen to musicians like Adele or Taylor Swift, I feel like I'm listening to pure music. They don't include too much slang or references to things from before 1945, but they are definitely influenced by older musical genres.4
Country music fits into this category as well. Even though it isn't technically considered a "pure form" of music, I think it deserves its own special place in the history of music.
After World War II, music was mostly dominated by two genres: jazz and classical music. Jazz evolved into several different styles and is still popular today. Classical music has also seen an explosion in popularity with musicians incorporating elements of it into other genres.
However, during this time period, country music emerged as a new genre. It’s important to note that not everyone considered country music to be a legitimate form of music at the time. Many people thought that only white artists could play “real” music or that music needed to have complex lyrics for it to be considered music.
One of the most influential bands in music history is also one of the least known. While their popularity has risen over time, they are still not as well-known as some other groups that have fallen by the wayside.
Their influence can be felt across all genres of music, though it’s hard to pinpoint just what element or elements made them special. What makes them worthy of such status is their consistently high quality as musicians and songwriters.
They were smart creative people who produced great songs that stuck with you for more than just a few listens. Many of their tracks stick with you because they make an emotional impact or provoke an interesting discussion.
That said, there aren’t very many examples of songs from this band that don’t make you feel at least a little bit something. Almost every track features instrumental pieces and/or vocals that fit together seamlessly into an extended theme or idea.
One of the most important influences that country music has had on rock is the use of lyrics as a form of expression. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and Taylor Swift have made significant contributions to our culture by using songs to convey messages or stories about life and the world around us.
Dylan wrote some of his best-known songs while he was in college studying English literature. These songs include ones like “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” which talks about people struggling with uncertainty and change in their lives, and “Someday Baby,” an ode to romantic love.
Wonder crafted many of his classic tracks into statements about social issues and politics. Many are examples of how he used metaphor and allegory to describe complex concepts. He also frequently sang about heartbreak and loneliness, themes that remain relevant today.
Taylor writes very personal songs that sometimes feel raw and real. She uses her voice to tell intimate secrets, something that is powerful when done correctly.
After Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Ringo left their native England for America in 1962, they had little money, few jobs and no clear idea of what kind of music they wanted to make. But they did have each other’s company, and that mattered more than anything else.
McCartney said it best when he noted, “If you want to know how we became famous, look behind you.”
They spent hours talking, brainstorming and creating together. They discussed lyrics, melodies, chords, guitar riffs and style — all things that made up the songs we now recognize as belonging to them.
In those early years, though, none of them knew exactly which direction their career would take next. As John Lennon later admitted, however, they were looking forward to making some money…for a while.
But spending time with your friends is always worth something, even if you don’t end up using the knowledge you gathered from each other in any major way.
And so, despite having nothing much going for him at the time, George Harrison eventually landed a job writing music for television shows. He continued doing this work well into his thirties, eventually composing the main title theme song for an NBC sitcom!
As hard as it may be to believe today, not every member of the band was completely confident about the future back then.
Born to Run is arguably one of the greatest songs ever written about being young, passionate, and hungry for something bigger than yourself. It’s also probably the most famous song in the world with “Born to run” having been turned into an iconic music video that has gone on to influence many other artists and industries.
The lyrics tell the story of someone who feels like they have nothing to live for, and they can’t go down without fighting back at least once. The song is so powerful because it strikes such a universal chord and reminds us all that no matter how bad things get you will always find your way out.
His music career didn’t start off as a musical success but his talent was never doubted. He spent years developing his craft and learning from some of the best musicians around before he finally found his voice as a performer.
Country music isn’t just a genre, it’s a culture full of hardworking people who love what they do and are very loyal to those close to them. His friendship with John Mellencamp, his writing partner, and manager comes through loud and clear in the lyrics of their collaboration ‘Small Town Talk.
The Rolling Stones
After their initial success, the Rolling Stones began to explore new music styles and genres. They experimented with psychedelic rock songs such as “You Got What It Takes” and they incorporated blues into some of their tracks.
The group also experimented with rhythm and blues by adding bass lines, longer introductions, and more complex lyrics. Some examples include their song “Under My Hood” and the album A Hard Day's Night.
On this album, you can hear how the bass line is extended and there are additional instruments in use. These features made the song sound even heavier! The guitar solo at the end is very impressive and shows off Keith Richards' talent.
Overall, the influence that country music has had on the development of other musical forms is undeniable.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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