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Lecture 4

MUS 365 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Chess Records, Meade Lux Lewis, Count Basie

Course Code
MUS 365
Benjamin Ordaz

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Real Life
Part 1
Young & Rebellious
o The War Years and Urban Migration
During the 2nd World War Country Music spread across the nation,
expanding from its traditional regional base in the South
The music accompanied both soldiers on their travels and emigrated with
those who worked in the war industries
The South lost population to the Midwestern steel cities of Chicago and
St. Louis as well as cities of the West coast.
The traditional concept of the family also changed during this time as
fathers were away at war or work in a distant city and many mothers
joined the work force too.
Country Music changed to reflect the new realities of its listeners
After the War ended, many who had moved to cities in what they had
thought was a temporary relocation soon realized that they could not
afford to quit their well-paying jobs and go back home
For many there was no longer a back home to which to return
A lot of people had lost their land during the Depression years and there
were few jobs in the countryside off the farm
As a consequence of this large-scale social displacement, Country Music
became much less rural in its outlook, preoccupations, and themes
Country Music, like parallel developments in the Blues, was becoming
increasingly urban
Country Music increasingly reflected the situation of rural peoples living
in cities, but it started to take on a harder edge as the tough realities of
city life settled in to become the norm for many people
o Expansion of the Country Music Industry
Following the War, the number of record labels multiplied with the
foundation of many small regional companies that would have a major
impact on both Country Music and American popular music in general
Capitol Records moved quickly from West Coast powerhouse to national
standing but there were other smaller, regional labels like Houston’s Gold
Star and Cincinnati’s King Records that would also make important
Following the War Country Music also became much easier to find on the
radio, with over 600 stations programming Country Music sometime
during the week’s broadcasts
Older live music formats began to be replaced with recorded music spun
by DJ’s but single night barn dances remained popular like the premiere
outfit of them all the Grand Ole Opry
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