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Big Ideas

  • Rockabilly, a combination of hillbilly honky-tonk and rhythm & blues music, was an integral part of the first wave of rock’n’ roll, which was popular music oriented specifically toward youth culture.

  • Rockabilly was equally part of the country genre and the nascent rock genre.

  • Because of the way that the music industry was configured in the 1950s, teen-oriented popular music such as that by the teen crooners made its home in country music and was accepted as country by a large swath of the audience.

  • The entire rockabilly and teen crooner phase passed relatively quickly, but it was part of the country music lineage and left its mark on later generations of country music, while also prompting the subsequent development of the Nashville sound.


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