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Gene Autry
Cover of Gene Autry

What is Western Music

Western Music is all about cowboys riding the range, driving their cattle across the plains, sleeping under the stars with nothing more than a saddle for a pillow, living on beans and coffee, feeling pretty lonesome and singing around a campfire.  It’s kind of cowboy folk music, which was originally composed and performed by the settlers of Western United States and Canada, who came largely from England, Ireland and Scotland, bringing their folk ballads with them. It was largely performed on stringed instruments (fiddlin’) with the odd harmonica, well, they were easy to fit into the saddlebags weren’t they?

Representative Western Musicians

Western Music, although really originating towards the end of the 19th century, became popular in the 1930’s and 40’s thanks to the Hollywood films which romanticized the lives of cowboys and had them singing around the campfire at every opportunity. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were responsible for many of the cowboy songs of the time, bursting into song on their numerous films at the drop of  a hat and becoming incredibly popular. Bing Crosby also had a few western music hits in the early days of his illustrious career.


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