Nashville sound

From Academic Kids

The Nashville sound in country music arose during the 1950s in the United States. Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, who were producing records in Nashville, invented the form by stripping the honky tonk roughness from traditional country and adding jazzy production and pop song structures. Vocalist Patsy Cline and pianist Floyd Cramer were two of the most famous of the Nashville sound's original era.

In the early 1960s, the Nashville sound began to be challenged by the rival Bakersfield sound. Nashville's pop song structure became more pronounced, and it morphed into countrypolitan. Countrypolitan was aimed straight at mainstream markets, and it sold well throughout the later 1960s and 1970s. The Bakersfield sound and, later, outlaw country dominated country music among aficionados while countrypolitan reigned on the pop charts.

Upon being asked what the Nashville Sound was, Chet Atkins would reach his hand into his pocket, shake the loose change around, and say "That's what it is. It's the sound of money".

Samples

  • Download sample of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart", perhaps the best-known Williams songs, covered by numerous other stars, and an excellent representation of the Nashville Sound
Country music | Country genres
Bakersfield sound - Bluegrass - Close harmony - Country blues - Honky tonk - Jug band - Lubbock sound - Nashville sound - Outlaw country
Alternative country - Country rock - Psychobilly - Rockabilly
Styles of American folk music
Appalachian | Blues (Ragtime) | Cajun and Creole (Zydeco) | Country (Honky tonk and Bluegrass) | Jazz | Native American | Spirituals and Gospel | Tejano

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