WEARING a big hat and playing guitar, a country music singer stands on stage and sings, sharing his feelings with the audience through his music. Country music is also called Country & Western music. It mixes many different kinds of music from the south of the United States.
It speaks to basic human emotions. Many country music songs are about homesickness, poetry and heartbreak. English immigrants (移民) first brought country music to America. In the 1930s and 1940s, country music often appeared in cowboy (牛仔) films and became popular.
What's special about country music?
Country music came from folk songs so most are simple, smooth and easy to sing. They talk about country life in a storytelling way.
Solo is the most common performance form of the music. Songs are usually accompanied by violins and guitars.
Know your stars
John Denver (1943--1997) was nicknamed (绰号) "Mother Nature's Son". Many of the American singer's songs such as "Take Me Home, Country Roads" are popular all over the world. He produced about 300 songs.
Shania Twain (1965-), the Canadian country and pop singer produced the biggest-selling album of all time by a female artist. She has won five Grammy awards. Twain is called "the sexiest country music singer."
"I started to listen to country music after my English teacher recommended (推荐) it to me one year ago. I like to listen to country music when I am alone. It makes me quiet and thoughtful (沉思的)."
By Zhang Weiran,14, from Jiangsu
"Take Me Home, Country Roads" (John Denver)
"Sunshine on my shoulders" (John Denver)
"Vincent" (Don McLean)
"You're still the one" (Shania Twain)
"The thunder rolls" (Garth Brooks)