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Popular Songs

Nashville Country Music

Nashville Tennessee if the home of country music, a major music recording and production center. All of the Big Four record labels, as well as numerous independent labels, have offices in Nashville, mostly in the Music Row area. Nashville's music industry is estimated to have a total economic impact of $6.4 billion per year and to contribute 19,000 jobs to the Nashville area.

Country music has numerous roots with distinctive musical styles centered on the difficulties and male-female relationships. In both Canada and the USA, country music emerges from the southeastern genre of American folk music and Western music. Wikipedia suggested: "Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, dobros and fiddles as well as harmonicas. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are the folk music of mostly white, working-class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional ballads, and cowboy songs, and various musical traditions from European immigrant communities. By the end of World War II, "mountaineer" string band music known as bluegrass had emerged when Bill Monroe joined with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, introduced by Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry. Gospel music, too, remained a popular component of country music. Red Foley, the biggest country star following World War II, had one of the first million-selling gospel hits ("Peace in the Valley") and also sang boogie, blues and rockabilly. "(Wilkapedia, Country music, Accessed Online March 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_music)

Everly brothers

My awareness of country music began with the Everly brothers who were Nashville prodigees with a great influence on other singers and emerging rock and roll bands. The Everlys recorded "Bye Bye Love" in 1957 which reached No. 2 on the pop charts, behind Elvis Presley's " Teddy Bear", and No. 1 on the country charts.[11] The song was written, by Felice Bryant and Diadorius Boudleaux Bryant, an American husband and wife country music and pop songwriting team who won 59 BMI country, pop, and R&B music awards. In 1972 they were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 1986 into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 1991 into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The brothers were seminal in creating country style rock and roll with steel-string guitars and two part harmony singing. Don and Phil Everly were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. On October 25, 2014, When Phil died in 2014, Don Everly sang Bye Bye Love at the Annual Music Masters ( Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)

The brothers music influenced the evolution of rock. Their style was copied by rock groups of the 1960s. The Beatles, Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunke] developed their style by performing Everly covers. The Bee Gees, the Hollies, and other rock and roll groups that feature harmony singing were also influenced. The Beatles referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers". Keith Richards called Don Everly "one of the finest rhythm players" Paul Simon said, the day after Phil's death, "Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard. Both voices pristine and soulful. The Everlys were there at the crossroads of country and R&B. They witnessed and were part of the birth of rock and roll." The brothers had 35 Billboard Top-100 singles, 26 in the top 40. They hold the record for the most Top-100 singles by any duo and trailed Hall & Oates for the most Top-40 singles by a duo. They had 12 top-40 albums between 1960 and 2009. In 1986, the Everly Brothers were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were introduced by Neil Young, who observed that every musical group he belonged to had tried and failed to copy the Everly Brothers' harmonies. The brothers have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the brothers No. 33 on its list of the "100 greatest artists of all time". They are also No. 43 on the list of UK Best selling singles artists of all time. They wrote Till I Kissed You, Cathy's Clown, and When Will I Be Loved  which became hits for Reba McEntire and Linda Ronstadt. Ronstadt's recording of When Will I Be Loved? is one my favorites.

Some recordings by Stephen Gislason

Bye Bye Love


When Will I Be Loved?



I Can't Make You Love Me was written by Nashville song writers Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin and recorded by American singer Bonnie Raitt in 1991. The song became one of Raitt's most successful singles, reaching the top-twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top-ten on the Adult Contemporary. Mojo magazine voted "I Can't Make You Love Me" the eighth best track on its The 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list. The song is ranked at number 339 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Shamblin stated: ”We’d worked on this song for more than six months. One day, Mike invited me to his living room’ where his piano was. He sat down and started playing this melody, and it was one of the most moving pieces of music I’d heard. I mean, it hit me in a hard way... Instantly, I knew it was the best thing I’d ever been a part of.”  I Can't Make You Love Me has gone on to become a pop standard and a mainstay of adult contemporary radio formats. Many prominent singers have recorded the song. Country singers Lee Ann Rhimes, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are among the singers that have recorded the song.

I Can't Make You Love Me

The Lyrics

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize
Don't patronize me

'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

Some Favorites

Country songs typically tell a story of failed love with standard a verse, chorus structure. I have admired the polish of Nashville singers, studio musicians and recording studios. Videos available on You Tube are often sophisticated and pleasing, Country music has had many crossovers into pop songs in the USA. My favorite singers are all attractive women who sing well. Here is a short list of my favorites with links to You Tube performances:


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