Friday 1/18: Country Music in the late 1970s and the 1980s

  1. When was the film Urban Cowboy released, and what impact did it have on American popular culture?

The album was released in 1980. The film made more people to be attracted to the Country music. It also led to a massive people moving from the rural America to the Urban America the likes of New York.

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2.How does Conway Twitty’s hit song “Don’t Call Him a Cowboy” (1985) reflect rural attitudes that had been brewing since the release of Urban Cowboy?

Conway’s song talks about the people who dress like cowboys and pretend that they are cowboys and they understand the country music. He suggests that to Identify a cowboy one has to look at the actions of the people and not just mere dress code.

  1. What is the best known group that carried on the quartet sound of the 1980s?

The group was called Alabama

  1. Alabama released “Tennessee River” (1980), their first #1 hit.

(a) What are the song’s roots in regards to vocal and instrumental styles, respectively?

 The vocals were more of the blues and the gospel of the south.

The instruments in this music are the drum sets and steel guitar.

  1. Name and describe several groups that were associated with the “neo-traditionalist” movement of the 1980s?

   Some of the groups that associated with Neo-traditionalists are The Judds which is a collaboration of a mother and the daughter. Rick Skaggs is another group that embraced neo-traditionalists. Most of his songs targeted the southern people and their lifestyle when they moved to New York.


  1. Who is Ricky Skaggs (b. 1954), and with which country music style is he most commonly identified?

Ricky Skaggs was a neo-traditionalist who combined the early bluegrass style and the pop sound in most of his music. During his very first time he was able to win the Horizon award.

(a) How did he contribute to the renewed popularity of bluegrass in the 1980s, specifically with his video for the #1 song  “Country Boy” (1984)?

He used the early instruments like piano in his music and combined the early style of the bluegrass in his music.

  1. Who are the Judds, and why are they significant?

The Judds is a neo-traditionalist collaboration of a mother and her daughter. They are significant because they were named the queens of the unseeded country music.

  1. In class we will watch the video to the Judd’s #1 hit song, “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ole Days)” (1986).

(a)  What cultural trends of the time period are depicted?

The trend of parents leaving the home to go to work leaving the children with their grandfather. The culture of grandparents telling their grandchildren the stories of the good old days they went through id also depicted in this song.

    (b) How does the song reinforce traditional rural sentiment?

The song’s title itself reinforce the traditional rural sentiments where most of the grandpa’s are limited to the rural areas. It talks about the grandpa narrating old days stories to the children. 

  1. Who was Dwight Yoakam and what style did he revive?

He was a Bakersfield artist who revived the Honky Tonk kind of music.



(a) How is this style reflected in his 1988 song “Streets of Bakersfield?”

 The latino recording of the song and the noisy style of the song with the use of drum sets.

  1. By what other names is Hank Williams Jr. also known as?

He is also known as Bocephus

  1. What are some of his accomplishments aside from being Hank Williams’s son?

Other being Hank Williams son, he was able to release 70 albums. He was able to also win various awards on her own including the CMA and ACM awards twice.

  1. Why did his hit song, “A Country Boy Can Survive” (1982) resonate among so many rural folk?

The song talks about the poor rural boy who depended on very odd jobs to survive. It explains that despite all the difficulties a boy who is living in the rural are should not give in because he can withstand all these hard times.

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