Browse the List of Country Performers by Era below, , or join the discussion on this topic. Add List of Country Performers by Era to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
List of Country Performers by Era
Below is a list of notable country performers alphabetically by period, with each listing followed by a description of the artists' work.
Jimmie Rodgers, first solo country superstar, the undisputed "Father of Country Music". Rodgers recorded his first record under Ralph Peer in Bristol, Tennessee the day after the original Carter Family recorded theirs.
Gene Autry, began recording in the early 1930s before entering the film business and becoming the first Singing Cowboy.
Freddie Hart In 1950 he moved to California and joined Lefty Frizzell's band shortly after when introduced to Capitol Records where Carl Smith recorded "Loose Talk: his very first number one song in 1955.
Ernest Tubb Beloved Texas troubadour who helped scores become stars.
Al Dexter, a country musician and songwriter, best known for "Pistol Packin' Mama," a 1944 hit that was one of the most popular recordings of the World War II years.
Johnny Cash created the boom-chicka-boom sound and recorded music from 1954 to 2003.
Ray Price, created the 4/4 shuffle which transformed traditional country music.
Glen Campbell, "The Rhinestone Cowboy," legendary session guitarist who launched out as a solo act and broke Country Music's 3-chord barrier and popularized "The Nashville sound" known for lush string and orchestral arrangements.
Woody Guthrie, wrote and sang the song "This Land is Your Land" and is cited by musicians from many genres as an inspiration.
Bob Wills, considered by many artist to be the real king of country music
Carl Smith, whose forceful and energetic voice on his hit singles such as "Loose Talk" and "Hey Joe!" can still be heard in country music today.
Performers of the Golden Age in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s
Bill Anderson, singer who is still a major songwriter of new hits
Liz Anderson, as famous for her songwriting as her singing; mother of Lynn Anderson
Lynn Anderson, a California blonde who became a major country star in the 70s; helped by regular exposure on national television, was one of the first female artists to achieve major crossover success. Has won CMA, ACM, AMA, & Grammy Awards. Named Billboard's "Artist of the Decade" (70-80).
Deborah Allen, a popular 80s country vocalist, songwriter. Best known for "Baby I Lied."
Glen Campbell, brought a whole new audience to Country Music with his TV show, co-starred with John Wayne in movie "True Grit," won many awards, top Country Music hitmaker and pop crossover icon. He popularized "The Nashville Sound."
Joe Carson, singer started in late 1950s Rockabilly and crossed to country. Died early 1960s.
June Carter, singer and comedian; star of the Grand Ole Opry; she became the wife and duet partner of Johnny Cash.
Connie Cato, Capitol Records country artist recorded three albums in the 70s. Her hits included "Super Skirt," and the top 20 hit "Hurt." She stopped recording in the very early 80s with her final single "Roses for Sale."
Patsy Cline, immensely popular balladeer who died in 1963
David Allan Coe, Outlaw Country star of the 70s, wrote several outlaw themed songs, released several X-rated albums, which was unheard of in Country Music
Tom T. Hall, "The Storyteller", wrote most of his many hits
Emmylou Harris has maintained one of the most artistically rewarding careers in country music
Hawkshaw Hawkins, Honky-tonk performer from Huntington, WV best known for the songs "Lonesome 7-7203" and "Pan American." He died on March 5, 1963 in a plane crash alongside Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.
Johnny Horton a fantastic singer who met an untimely death that ended a wonderful career.
Jan Howard, pop-flavored female vocalist who sang pure country
k.d. lang, Canadian country-pop singer-songwriter, known for her campy performances, androgynous look, and mezzo-soprano range, winning CCMA's Entertainer of the Year Award in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990, Best Album 1988 for Shadowland, and the American Grammy Awards for Best Country Vocal Collaboration 1989 for "Crying" (shared with Roy Orbison), and Best Female Country Music Performance 1990, for Absolute Torch and Twang.
Loretta Lynn, arguably country music's biggest star in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Barbara Mandrell, first artist to win Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year twice (1980, 1981). Known for highly polished live concerts. Had the last successful prime-time network variety show on NBC 1980-1982. Charted over 50 country hits from the early 1970s thru the late 1980s. Could sing, dance and play over 10+ instruments.
Mickey Newbury, singer/songwriter started the lyric revolution in Nashville with his 1969 album Looks Like Rain. He wrote over 500 songs and has over 1000 covers to date. He was a songwriter's songwriter.
Marie Osmond, Youngest female to date to have a No. 1 country hit, with "Paper Roses" in 1973, and also had a string of country hits in the mid-1980s such as;"Meet Me in Montana" (with Dan Seals), "There's No Stopping Your Heart", "Read My Lips", "You're Still New To Me" (with Paul Davis), and "I Only Wanted You".
Gram Parsons, Parsons joined [the Byrds] in early 1968 after leaving his pioneering International Submarine Band, the Byrds recorded the seminal country rock album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Dolly Parton, one of the most successful female country artist in history. Country and pop music star, actress (most notably "9 to 5" and "Steel Magnolias"), songwriter. Best known for "I Will Always Love You," which she took to #1 on the country charts in 1974 and 1982; also covered by Whitney Houston for "The Bodyguard" soundtrack.
Ray Price, traditional country star of the '50s and '60s, who experienced pop success in the '70s and '80s
Charley Pride, the first black country music star in the 1970s and early 1980s. Best known for "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'."
Kenny Rogers, unique-voiced storyteller who also recorded love ballads and more rock material. He defined what was known as country crossover and became one of the biggest artists in country and any music genre.