Guitars And Country Music

Matthew behind a double guitar belonging to the wonderful country group Alabama at the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
Matthew behind a double guitar belonging to the wonderful country group Alabama at the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Country Music

Welcome to the Guitar Beginner Center Museum Of Country Music. I have put together a long list of artists from way back to today and pulled all of their info together. I even found some pictures for your pleasure.

First a little talk about country music. Or you can just get right on to the tour by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.

Country music began a long time ago. It was known as hillbilly music until the 1940's when country music came to be the term. Country music was a blend of other southern music. Country music has produced the two top selling artists of all time. Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks. Ever since country began, people have come up with all kinds of styles. Country rock is the more popular style today.

Well, head on over to the tour and get yer country music on! Today I will talk about Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.

Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers, otherwise known as the father of country music, was one of the first country stars of all time. Jimmie was born in Meridian, Mississippi on September 8, 1897. His mother died when he was very young. He had two older brothers. For a while, he went to live with relatives but returned to his father who had settled with a new wife. Not much else is known about his early years.

His desire to perform came at a young age and he organized two traveling shows at the age of 13! However, he was brought back by his father who gave him a job as a water boy on a railroad. In 1924, Jimmie contracted tuberculosis and that ended his career on the railroad. This gave him his opportunity to go back to the entertainment business.

In 1927, Jimmie and a few others performed on Ashville, North Carolina's first radio station. The small town gave them a weekly slot. They were called the Jimmie Rodgers entertainers.

In July of that year, Ralph Peer went to Bristol to audition new musicians. Jimmie and his band went and Ralph agreed to record them the next day. The band broke up that night though when talking about the billing for the record. Jimmie showed up that day alone and recorded "The soldier's Sweetheart" and "Sleep, Baby, Sleep."

The recording earned modest success. Again, they recorded the album called Blue Yodel with the song "Texas T" and three other songs. This record sold nearly half a million. He sold out shows wherever he played.

After a while in 1932, he made his last recording and gave up touring. He went to San Antonio and had a radio show. His TB was getting the better of him. With the depression, he went and decided to record again. Only this time for his last song, "Years Ago," he asked to be recorded by himself. He died two days later at the age of 35. How sad.

Jimmie has been known, even to this day as the father of country music. His talent inspired many other country musicians and practically shaped country music to what it would be in the future.

Video of Jimmie Rodgers

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was fabulous. He influenced rock more than country music back in the 1950's and was an incredible performer, singer, musician, and movie actor. He was from Memphis, Tennessee, and owned a beautiful home called Graceland after he became a huge star. Elvis played rock n roll, country, gospel, and just about every other type of music, but he is best known for his gyrating hips on the Ed Sullivan show. They were so nervouse they could not even show the hips on television.

He married a teenaged girl named Priscilla and together they had one child, Lisa Marie Presley. But, most of you know this and I am sure you have seen Priscilla Presley in movies. You may have seen Lisa Marie in concert. They still hold Graceland as a museum so everyone can see how Elvis lived. Sadly, Elvis also died there after taking an accidental overdose. What a tragic way for such an incredible entertainer to pass away from this world. His music lives on forever.

Elvis' Gold Piano

Matthew Schulze in front of Elvis' gold piano at the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Oh, how I wanted to play it!
Matthew Schulze in front of Elvis' gold piano at the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Oh, how I wanted to play it!

Johnny Cash, The Man In Black

Johnny Cash, aka the man in black, was one of the most influential musicians in music history. His early career really began in 1954. Cash won over Sam Philip. He recorded "Cry, Cry, Cry" and "Hey Porter."

His next record was "Folsum Prison Blues." This song made the top five and then he recorded the classic "I Walk The Line." This song made number one.

Even though he was the top selling artist for Sun Records, he felt that they did not give him enough freedom so, much to their demise, he left.

He signed on with Columbia Records where his song, "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" became a big hit. As his career started to take off in the 1960's, he became a heavy drinker and became addicted to drugs. Even though he had a dangerous addiction, he was still making best selling records.

In 1965, his truck caught fire and began a forest fire. When the judge asked him if he did it, he said, "No, my truck did it and you can't question it. It is dead." He was sued by the government and eventually paid $82,001.

Johnny Cash began to play at different prisons like San Quentin. Here, he recorded one of his most famous live albums and how the prisoners loved it. Here is a video from the recording of this album:

Johnny Cash Live From San Quentin

Johnny Cash married the famous comedienne and singer, June Carter, in 1968. The two went on to do duets and won two Grammies as a team. The most famous of their duets, in my opinion, is "Ring Of Fire." They are awesome together, especially in this number.

In the movie, "Walk The Line," June Carter is portrayed as the one who helped Cash get past his addiction.

Back in the 1990s, Johnny and June appeared on the show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman for several episodes. They were great together and it was very enjoyable to watch them.

My favorite Johnny song is "A Boy Named Sue." He is also known for "Man In Black," "Daddy Sang Bass," "Why Me Lord," "I've Been Everywhere," and so many others.

If you have not yet seen the movie, "Walk The Line," it is really great and the actor and actress who portray Johnny and June did all of their own singing and they were fabulous!

One of Cash's more famous late songs, and one that he did shortly before he died, was a cover of the song, "Hurt." Many people say that he played that song with the most feeling and that he meant it. After all, he had lost the love of his life, June, prior to that recording. In my opinion that song belonged to him.

His later works are said to be about redemption and his feelings of regret.

Johnny Cash died not four months after his beloved wife, June Carter Cash in 2003. His date of death is September 12, 2003. It is hard to believe he has already been gone for more than five years.

There is said to be an album coming out in 2009 with his last music on it. He will forever be known as the man in black.

I hope you have enjoyed my Country Music Museum showing how guitars are featured in country music.

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