Big Ideas

  • In the early 1980s, a crossover style called countrypolitan became the dominant sound of commercial country music, with an accompanying fad of country dancing.

  • Cowboy icons and country music fit the political, economic, and cultural atmosphere of the early 1980s.

  • Expanding media outlets such as CMT fueled growth in the genre, while rampant genre-crossing among artists further connected country music and mainstream popular culture.

  • Countrypolitan fit within the perpetual tension between crossover styles and more traditionally oriented music, and in that guise, it was a catalyst for the neotraditional developments that came after it.

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