Like the waters of the mighty Mississippi and all it’s tributaries, the musical roots of the South all start in various places, meandering through the various genres of gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, zydeco, ragtime, country, soul, Southern hip-hop, rhythm and blues and more before coming together as one. There’s no other place that can lay claim to as much musical heritage as the South. It’s one of the cornerstones of our culture.
And while Southern music itself is such a large part of who were are, there is still diversity and regionalism within it. Nashville clearly sets itself apart as the birthplace of country music, while New Orleans lays claim to zydeco and jazz. Memphis is the home of the Delta Blues and more.
Rock ‘n’ roll emerged in the South from a variety of Southern song masters: Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Otis Redding and many others. From that list four are from the state of Georgia: Little Richard, Ray Charles, James Brown, and Otis Redding.
Southern rock developed from the slide guitar style of Duane Allman. The Allman Brothers Band would lead the way for other Macon, Georgia based Capricorn Records bands like The Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie among others. Alternative rock would then surface through bands like R.E.M. and The B-52’s out of Athens, Georgia.
The hip-hop sub-genre of the Dirty South burst onto the scene in the 1980s as a reaction to the West Coast and East Coast hip-hop movements, and garnered success nationwide in the late 1990s. Artists like Outkast, B.o.B., Trick Daddy, Juvenile, and Three 6 Mafia emerged from Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and Memphis.
Music is at the very heart of Southern culture – and we know we’re quite literally preaching to the choir when we say this. We’re excited to bring y’all some of our favorite quotes by Southern musicians, our favorite Southern songs on our Spotify lists, and even interviews with the artists themselves. Have a suggestion for us? Tell us on our Facebook page!
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