The Most Important in Country Music?

johnnycWith this being my last blog post of the school year, I wondered what I would write about. After doing quite a bit of brainstorming and still coming up with nothing I decided to search the internet for a topic that might catch me by surprise. While searching, I came across a post that listed “The 10 Most Important People in Country Music.” This was something that caught my attention because I feel that an argument can be made as to who the most influential or most important people in country music are.

raycI remember at the beginning of this course Dusty gave us a list of several artists and bands and asked us to list the top ten people who we thought were most influential to the genre of country music. When we did this exercise I was actually pretty surprised to find out that artists such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Aerosmith had such big influences on country music (according to CMT). There were also artists on the list who I would’ve guessed to be higher up and artists who, in my opinion, should’ve been a bit lower.

One of the things that the AXS article mentions which I agree with is the fact that the sound of country music has changed so much over the course of the years. Their inclusion of George Strait, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash as some of the greatest contributors to country music is also something that I can easily agree with. However, there are some artists who I question why they are considered the “most important” in country music.

The list of artists doesn’t seem to have an order as to which artist is most and least important on their list. A short description is given about each artist and/or their music as to why they are considered to be important or to have made significant contributions to the genre. The artists noted for being the most important in country music include: Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, The Judds, Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Faith Hill, George Strait, and last but not least Hank Williams.

While I’m not trying to be mean, I feel that Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift could easily have been replaced by someone who has been around longer and has made a bigger impact on country music such as Willie Nelson, Reba, or even Elvis. I actually found it rather amusing that the reason AXS provided for Luke Bryan’s importance to country music was because of his “signature booty shake” and his ability to “make grown women swoon” with his song lyrics. This might just be my personal opinion but I think it should take more than booty shaking in order to make it onto a list of country’s most important figures.

luke bryan shake it lukebryan women

Feel free to let me know what you think of the list compiled by AXS. Who do you think should’ve been included in this list and who do you think should’ve been left off?

Bailey, Tiffany. “The 10 Most Important People in Country Music.” AXS. 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 3 May 2015.


Filed under Lists, Reflection

3 Responses to The Most Important in Country Music?

  1. Joshua Fleming

    I also agree with you about about Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan being left off. but i would probably add Conway Twitty and Patsy Cline. For being around for so long and staying at the top of country music also i think they weren’t just known for country which i think is another reason why is because they change some of the sound of country song. nut with that i would like to say that is really hard to say who is the top 10 most influential people to country music due to the fact that it has change so much due to a lot of people so i don’t think you can make a list this small with out leaving parts of country music off.

  2. Shannon Smith

    I agree that Luke Bryan should be left off the list, but I feel like Taylor Swift, even though she was never truly country does deserve a spot on that list. Taylor Swift has introduce so many young fans to the country music genre that I feel she can’t be overlooked. I was a little surprised that Faith Hill made it on this list and not Reba. I agree with Joshua that making a top 10 list is unfair to country music. Country music goes back so far and has been influenced by so many people that this list doesn’t cover. I think that Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Reba, Loretta Lynn, and Conway Twitty should have made the list as well.

  3. Caitie Labay

    I also found that list very intriguing! While I was initially surprised to see so many names outside of country music, I eventually came to realize that they made perfect sense. As new country artists emerged, they would need to look at other sounds in order to brand their own. Also, while I understand the arguments that the new artists are not “influential enough” to be on the list, this list wasn’t meant to be “best artists of all time”, but rather those that current artists found relevant. So it was unsurprising to me to see that people like Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, and Carrie Underwood were on their lists because it is obvious their styles are influencing the new and young country artists like Hunter Hays and Kelsea Ballerini.

Leave a Reply