The Undeniable Influence of Country Music on Pop Culture

Country music is one of the most popular genres in the United States. It’s also immensely popular in other countries too. A lot of people underestimate its influence on pop culture, thinking that it’s a genre listened to exclusively by folk in rural areas or older people, but neither of these assumptions are accurate since people everywhere, from Los Angeles to London listen to it, and it has had a lot of influence on modern pop culture, directly and indirectly. This post will explore this topic in more detail and explain how it has influenced pop culture:

Country’s Impact on Music

Country music has had a large influence and impact on music as we know it today, particularly the rock ‘n’ roll genre. Many of rock’s earliest pioneers were influenced by country and blues musicians, the latter being more influential than the former. There is also a unique fusion genre, country rock. The experts from make clear on their website that the country rock genre is alive and well, with artists like Jelly Roll, a rapper, still recording with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the last original member of which, Gary Rossington, died last year. Country rock was in many respects shaped by Lynyrd Skynyrd, one of the most famous bands to have ever existed in the genre. Songs like Free Bird, Sweet Home Alabama, and Tuesday’s Gone are beloved by people from all around the world.

Country music’s roots lie in the folk songs of the English, Irish, and Scots settlers of the Appalachians and other parts of the United States. You could argue that all subsequent American genres were inspired by country music. Blues music was a kind of fusion of African folk music and country music, so it’s clear that country had an influence on blues, and therefore, the genres that came afterward. While the more primitive and early forms of country music are not especially popular, some people still listen to it. You can find recordings all over the internet of early folk musicians recorded at the start of the 20th century.

Working Man’s Music

Another reason country music is so influential is because it is essentially working man’s music. The genre is notorious for telling stories nobody else wants to tell, explaining the plight of the average American to listeners. More and more people are becoming numb to real physical labor, since they are working exclusively digital jobs. This numbness means that they have forgotten how hard it is. Country musicians speak to the individuals working these jobs and let them know that they are doing good jobs and should be proud of themselves for supporting their families in the toughest of ways.

Country music also often references the decline in societal norms, customs, and traditions. In the United States, there is a big movement to deconstruct the nuclear family and blur the lines. Country musicians seem to understand the importance of the family and upholding traditional values. Addressing the decline in social values is partially why the genre is as popular as it is today and is how it has stayed relevant, considering how fast times are changing. It gives normal people something to hold onto and feel familiar with in a world that’s getting out of control.

Working Mans Music

Telling America’s Stories

Finally, and as referenced in the previous section, country music tells America’s stories. The genre was used to tell stories of settlers and simple folk living in the nation’s most rural areas, and now it is used to tell the stories of modern working people, trying their best to keep their heads above water. America is a vast nation and while many consider life there to be easy and carefree, this simply isn’t the case. The country was built on the blood, sweat, and tears of industrial workers and people willing to sacrifice their lives for their countrymen.

It’s important to note that there were many different subgenres of country music. While music referencing the plight of the average American is indeed popular, so too is music that depicts the lives of outlaws and criminals. One subgenre, outlaw country, has achieved immense popularity around the world. Artists like Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, and Steve Earle have all contributed to its rise to fame. Country-punk is another genre worth noting that has quickly developed a large following online and has been a favorite of rural punks for a number of years.

Country music has had a large influence on pop culture, and judging by subgenres like country-punk, pop culture has had a big influence on country music. There are many different subgenres and types of country music, so do your research and find the one that stands out to you if you want to do a deep dive and learn more about the genre.