Although my list includes a modest number of easy picks, such as mainstream US country songs about Mexico, I made it a priority to also dig for some songs representing South and Central America. Some acts on my list are from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, etc.
I had three new playlists in mind: Country Funk, Country Soul and R&B, and a Swamp Pop and other Louisiana styles list. When I started collecting songs for these lists, I threw them all in one pile, with the idea of separating them out later. I liked how the whole lot sounded together, so I decided to go with a huge list combining all of these: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_375pChm2Eg6oaVN-7e_YJ
People deal with stress in different ways, and listening to a whole lot of music is mine. As for this particular list, there’s a lot of country-R&B fusion from decades ago, but there are modern songs in the mix, too.
Surf music is considered a form of rock music, but like other forms of rock and roll of that era, the hillbillies were in on it, too.
Dick Dale was the king of the surf guitar: https://www.guitarworld.com/artists/dick-dale-requiem-for-the-king-of-the-surf-guitar
“Sharing a love of gadgetry and country music, Dale and (Leo) Fender became friends and collaborators.”
My new “Hillbilly Surf” list includes songs from the past and present: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_fytMRgu_I82uTQpLW33K8
Marty Stuart was working on an album of surf instrumentals last year, but it’s anyone’s guess when or if this album will be released.
My huge pile of playlists: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/
I’ve had a lot of time this week to dig for obscure music, and I’ve added a few specialty lists.
Hillbilly Mambo had a little run in 1954-1955, and I found a 2008 WFMU article about it: https://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2008/04/hillbilly-mambo.html
I couldn’t find a couple of those, but I found some others. Here’s a good article about the history of the mambo: https://www.centralhome.com/ballroomcountry/mambo.htm
So, the mambo was developed in Cuba in the 1940s, and Perez Prado was especially instrumental in popularizing the new style. It’s less clear what set off the flurry of hillbilly mambo songs in 1954, but June Carter, Grandpa Jones and Minnie Pearl, Hank Snow, and Sheb Wooley (the “Purple People Eater” guy) all released hillbilly mambo songs. Bob Wills released “Too Much Mambo” in January, 1955. Also in 1955, King of Mambo Perez Prado released a mambo version of Red Foley’s 1950 country hit “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.”
Next, let’s take a look at “The Twist,” a popular culture phenomenon in the early 1960s. Several country versions showed up from artists like June Carter, Rex Allen, Bob Wills, and Johnnie Lee Wills. Chubby Checker himself made a country version much later. My list also includes unrelated songs that have “Twist” in the title or otherwise refer to twisting.
The third of my new “dance fad” country playlists is “Country Go Go.” When I saw Marty Stuart’s Psychedelic Jam-Bo-Ree at the CMHOF a few months ago, he had a couple of Go Go dancers. Unfortunately, I can’t find a video of that. Go Go dancing and The Twist have a shared connection to the Peppermint Lounge in New York, which has a quite colorful history: https://nypost.com/2012/11/11/a-mob-tale-with-a-twist/
My Country Go-Go list also includes some rockabilly “go” songs, as well as a couple of examples of the Washington DC music style “Go Go.” These things are perhaps not related to Go-Go dancing, but it works for a playlist.
Jesse Daniel, Callie McCollough, Saints Eleven, Jessi Alexander, David Alan Bell, Kody West, Jill Andrews, Ingrid Andress, Bela Fleck, Waxahatchee, Rye Davis, Brian Fallon, James Robert Webb, Muscadine Bloodline, Lilly Hiatt, The Tender Things, Sarah Peacock, The Comancheros, The Brother Band, George St. Clair, Laurie Lewis, Skyline Motel, Grace Kelly, Brett James, Kelsi Mayne, Raven, Suzie Candell, Scott Kurt, Jessie Owen III, Josh Gallagher, Dom Italiano, The Remedy Club, Thomm Jutz, Anthony Da Costa, Kim Richey, Anderson Elswick, Mark Erelli, Clem Snide, Jared Rabin, and Jordan Lisco.
Many artists are doing “virtual concerts,” and Ashley McBryde recently uploaded a couple of hers on YouTube.
From 3/19: https://youtu.be/lbR0UANx-qg
From 3/23: https://youtu.be/rB4bD4v59eg
She included some fun songs, such as a cover of Pinkard and Bowden, and a cover of T-Pain. I found a video from nine years ago of her T-Pain cover, which makes a fine addition to my Hip Hop Meets Country list: https://youtu.be/Ubd5ImPptvE
“Tim McGraw Corrals Country’s Biggest Stars for #DeepCutsChallenge” https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/9342085/tim-mcgraw-deep-cuts-challenge-videos
Galleywinter Covid Concert Series http://galleywinter.com/covid-concert-series/
Jolene’s “Introduction to Australian Country Music” new playlist: https://jolenethecountrymusicblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/new-playlist-introduction-to-australian-country-music/
Saving Country Music, “New Albums…” https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/new-albums-need-to-remain-a-focus-through-covid-19-outbreak/
The Boot’s list of virtual shows: https://theboot.com/country-virtual-shows-coronavirus/
Visit Music City’s list of virtual shows: https://www.visitmusiccity.com/things-to-do-in-nashville/events/upcoming-concerts
Imagine a tropical island far away. The exotic sounds of Hawaiian steel guitar were incorporated into country music very early. The development of the dobro, pedal steel, and electric guitar all owe to the Hawaiian steel.
My list includes a hodgepodge of other “island” music, and there’s lots of Caribbean music in the mix, too. Country and western music covers a wide range, and someone somewhere has probably tried combining every other sort of music with some variety of country music.
The list had around 50 songs until the last week, but it drew very few views, so I spent a lot of time this week to expand it to 180 songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09gcNdHaAXRxhYc8-scNOUi
My harp list is now up to 100 songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ09vrZWcxuIcavEYHH4YJga_
This is an all-genre list, but there’s a bit of country, bluegrass, and western swing. Here’s an article about the long history of the harp: http://www.internationalharpmuseum.org/visit/history.html
I also expanded the Dulcimer/Psaltery/Zither list a bit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_rBdLpl4tZCClsCpofHDyc
Here’s an article about the history of the psaltery: https://earlymusicmuse.com/psaltery/
Since we’re stuck at the house for days on end, I’ve had a lot of time to add songs to many of my playlists in the last week: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/
The Truck, Train, Square Dance, and Early Electronic lists are now up to 150 songs each. The trucking songs list has the most recent additions of those. The Jug Bands & Spoons list is now up to 100. The Honky Tonk list is back up to 200, after I had to replace a few broken links with other songs. The yodel list is now up to 250.