Every decade of the 20th century has seen the introduction of huge cultural shifts across America. The 90’s were no exception, especially as far as country music is concerned. Those with a fondness for both the 90’s as well as 90s country music might be interested in learning more about the significance that era would have on the country music industry.
The Nashville Sound and The Rise Of Early Country
First in order to understand the historical context of country music in the 1990’s, one must first look a bit earlier in history. Believe it or not, country wasn’t always a big mainstream genre. Much like many other types of longstanding music genres, it’s gone through it’s fair share of ups and downs.
After a slump in the 1940’s, Country music saw a revival in the 1950’s thanks to something called the “Nashville Sound.” During this time, country music underwent an evolution in which it would incorporate many elements in an attempt to widen its appeal to a much larger audience.
This lead to a period of prosperity and popularity for the country music genre which would last for at least a decade.
Country Rises Again, The Resurgence of Mainstream Country
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and eventually country would fall out of the public consciousness for some time. This all changed in the 1990’s, as a series of events and artists would once again swing the genre back into popular culture.
Much like when the original Nashville Sound brought country back into the limelight, 90s country music took many influences from contemporary pop music and incorporated country elements. This newer, more modern sound mixed with the rise of FM radio in suburban areas saw an even greater level of accessibility for country to reach the masses.
The Artists and Songs That Would Define 90s Pop Country
Of course, an era in music is not without its fair share of songs, artists, and albums that would end up defining that period of time. The following list provides a shining example of the types of songs and artist which uplifted country to new heights in the 90’s.
Ken Mellons: Jukebox Junkie
The jukebox holds a special place within both rock’n’roll and country music. Both genres can be enjoyed at a variety of social establishments, from restaurants to bars. In a public space, the jukebox is a way for fans of music to share their favorite songs and tastes with each other. In this song, Ken Mellons encaptures this special meaning that the jukebox holds to country music fans.
Dolly Parton: Silver and Gold
Much like Chet Atkins and Patsy Cline were at the forefront of the original Nashville Sound, Dolly Parton has been one of the figureheads of the 1990’s country revival and the modern face of Nashville branded country music.
Shania Twain: Any Man of Mine
America’s sweetheart, Shania Twain’s music was loved by all during this era, country music fan or no. In fact, it wouldn’t be too wrong to say that Shania Twain could be considered the Taylor Swift of the 90’s, as they have both enjoyed much success and popularity both in and out of mainstream markets.
Garth Brooks: The Dance
Some would argue that much of 90’s country’s success was only possible because of the multitude of hits Garth Brooks contributed early on into the 90’s. Regardless of how much you think he’s contributed to the genre, it’s hard to deny that Garth Brooks definitely was one of the top artists of the decade.
Billy Ray Cyrus: Achy Breaky Heart
Before there was Miley Cyrus there was her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. While an incredibly talented artist with plenty of great songs under his name, it was Achy Breaky Heart which ended up being Billy Ray Cyrus’ breakout hit.
Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces
You can’t talk about the 90’s without mentioning the Dixie Chicks. Even the toughest of guys might admit to owning at least one of their albums. They were a cultural force that simply couldn’t be escaped from as they produced hit after hit. Wide Open Spaces is one of many recognizable country tunes which took America by wildfire.