As Vernon Dalhart proved, country music could reach a sizeable audience not only in the South, but also in the Northern cities.Victor Records, who put out Dalhart’s million-seller, decided to get serious about discovering new country music.
As a preamble to the CMAs, Bio takes a look at a handful of some of the most iconic songs in the history of country music, both pre- and post-awards.
Jimmie Rodgers was a genial railroad worker from Mississippi who suffered from tuberculosis and moved to North Carolina for the mountain air. In fact, it was Sara’s autoharp playing that first attracted A. Ralph Peer recorded both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, and he felt instantly that they could be very big sellers. Their first records were modest hits, but shortly thereafter, both would release game-changing songs.
Always musically inclined (he won amateur talent shows as a kid and toured around as a vagabond musician), he became involved with a group of musicians who heard about Victor’s presence in Bristol. On November 30, 1927, Jimmie Rodgers recorded his song “Blue Yodel” in Camden, New Jersey.
Today, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton rule the charts; time will determine how well their efforts endure.
There’s no doubt, though, that the songs below, and the artists who performed them, have endured and will endure as long as country music is played and sung.