First Ever Country Rock Song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by klaatuhf, Jun 10, 2008.

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  1. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    Thanks for the tip, I don't know that song, sounds like I'm gonna like it. :righton:

    Well, you gotta admit it's the same melody too.

    Anyway, when I'm DJing and play that song, people sure rock to it. :cool:
  2. Coldplay2002

    Coldplay2002 New Member

    New York, New York
    "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" uses the Flat VII which was common for them and these other chords V-of-V and V-of-vi and it uses the AABA song form which differs from the common verse-chorus-verse. This is my choice. Peace
  3. klaatuhf

    klaatuhf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sydney, Australia
    You've got to be joking! I have read reviews saying this was the first Country Rock album so I went and got it and had a listen and all I heard was Folk/Skiffle and plain Country Music. Absolutely No Country Rock in there at all. Please tell me what track on there is CR and then everyone can go and have a listen and report back. Believe me I was hoping a UK band did the very first 60's version of CR but I was severely let down. No sorry, not a contender. And not very good country at all really in my opinion. No wonder the album bombed completely.
    By the way Clarence White did play on two Rick Nelson "country" albums in 1966. One being "Country Fever" and this wasn't too far off CR at times like on the track "Things You Gave Me".
    To diverse a tad...Who would be the first UK band to do CR after say 1967? I'd go for "Matthews Southern Comfort". Any other suggestions?
  4. MrQwerty

    MrQwerty New Member

    Fylde, UK
    Some great contributions since I last looked.

    Yes I agree with Coldplay2002. The Beatles, it seems, purely from injecting their early writing with as many American influences as possible inadvertently created Country Rock as the OP defines it with a little help from their friends: the Everlys and Buddy Holly (did I say that already? Yes you did!).

    Also agree the Byrds/Beatles connection was one the most pivotal in the development of Rock (did I say that already? Yes you sort of did!).

    Buck Owens - yes OK, a bit of credit for Buck - thanks Buck.

    Downliners Sect - These guys did some great stuff a year or so later, but believe me 'The Country Sect' is misrepresented goods. Their fayre on this album is nothing but some pretty lame Brit Skiffle meets Trad Folk. When I saw that title only a year or so ago, I got my hopes up, but I'm afraid I'm with Klaatuhf on this one - it doesn't do what it says on the can!
  5. Steve Litos

    Steve Litos Forum Resident

    Chicago IL
    The guitar solo does not sound like a pedal steel guitar. It sounds more like a Telecaster to me.
  6. Henry the Horse

    Henry the Horse Active Member

    No. The 50's music you're describing would be considered "Rockabilly".
    "Country Rock" was a blend of "Rock" to the point it had developed to in the late '60s and "Country" from the same time period. I think this is commonly accepted as the era in which "Country Rock' emerged.
    And yes, Rick Nelson, at this time was one of the front-runners of the genre.
  7. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Forum Resident

    Los Angeles

    The Everly Brothers and Ricky Nelson were "Rockabilly?"
    And if Sun-era Elvis and Jerry Lee aren't a blend of country and rock then nothing is. Way more so than any Beatles song.

    One thing is for sure--Gram Parsons didn't invent it.
  8. Henry the Horse

    Henry the Horse Active Member

    Ricky Nelson, IMO, definitely had a lot of Rockabilly in his catalogue. It was the genesis of Rock in the '50s and lots of genres were bleeding together, but I believe this thread is about "Country Rock" as a genre, that's the way I'm interpreting it, anyway.
    Yeah, you can trace influences back to the '50s, for sure, but what's commonly referred to as CR was more of a late '60s emergence. And yeah, the Byrds were right there too. I never said the Everly brothers were Rockabilly.
  9. jgreen

    jgreen Well-Known Member

    St. Louis,MO.
    If James Burten had done nothing else, his light stringed Telecaster lead in HML would still be an histiric event.
  10. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Forum Resident

    Los Angeles

    Sure Ricky did rockabilly, just like Elvis, Jerry Lee and a host of others in the '50s. But 'country rock' is a nebulous term, just like I said previously--and just because that term came to mean music coming from L.A. in the mid/late '60s as practiced by The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, International Submarine Band, Dillards, Hearts & Flowers, Gene Clark, Dillard & Clark, etc.--doesn't mean there wasn't "country rock" in the '50s. The Everlys are the perfect example since they pretty much did their thing from the late '50s right through the time being discussed.

    If you want to be anal about it and just examine the Rolling Stone definition of "country rock" then stick with The Byrds. 1965 is a good enough starting point for the music you want to discuss as any.

    But anyone knows there was country rock before that.
  11. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Youngstown, Ohio
    So "country rock" is a nebulous term, and your goal is to make it even more nebulous?

    I don't believe that taking a historical look at the music we love and identifying trends and movements within it makes one "anal."

    Contrary to your assertion, there wasn't "country rock" in the 50s...there was rock 'n' roll with elements of country in it, but the term simply wasn't in use in that era as applied to a genre of music -- that didn't happen until the latter part of the 1960s.

    My question to you is...what is the downside of applying carefully considered terms to identify a recognizable genre of music? And what is the upside of applying these same terms cavalierly to music outside of that genre?

    We can certainly recognize the roots of any such genre, and point to early influences; i.e., artists who made later, fully formed genres possible. But that doesn't necessarily make them exemplars of that genre.
  12. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Well rock 'n roll was/is essentially a form of re-interpreting any number of musical styles - in a more pop oriented format. I hear elements of country, Appalachian folk, English folk, R&B, & jazz..... depending......

    When I use the term country rock or weed country - I think of that era in the late sixties/early 70's where traditional country was 'the parents' music and the younger generation was (for the most part) trying to distance themselves from its image, values, and aesthetic, if not its direct sound. Luckily, there were a few rock 'n roll internal renegrades that embraced it to one degree or another. (Elvis, Rick Nelson, Chris Hillman, John Fogerty, Gram Parsons, and many more than should be mentioned.)
  13. Henry the Horse

    Henry the Horse Active Member

    Mike, obviously I agree with what you're saying and have said it already myself in so many words.
    Don't even bother trying to have a civil discussion with that guy, he seems to be into arguing for arguments' sake.
  14. Henry the Horse

    Henry the Horse Active Member

    Exactly, and to paraphrase previous words of wit, "and anyone knows that".
  15. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Certainly the term "country rock" was not used prior to the late 60's. I don't think anyone is arguing that. But a subgenre of music can exist before a term is coined to classify it, can't it?

    What makes something "country rock"? Is it who performs it? The Beatles' cover of "Act Naturally" is pretty much identical to the original version by Buck Owens in terms of style and instrumentation. Is the former country rock but the latter not?

    It seems like the OP of this thread was looking for "who was the first established rock artist to record country-influenced material that was notably different in sound than the stuff they normally did." That's a pretty limited definition of "country rock", which is what I think is the point many of the responders here are trying to make. Disqualifying records based on who made them, rather than their stlistic contend, seems specious.

    Punk records existed before 1976, even if they weren't called that. Rock-n-roll records existed before 1955. If one were to make a list of the objective stylistic criteria necessary and sufficient for something to be "country rock" then one could find many records before 1964 or whatever that contained all those characteristics. As is demonstrated by the examples on this thread.
  16. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Youngstown, Ohio
    I guess that depends on how "anal" one wants to be!

    My first inclination is to say "no, it can't"...because it can't be a subgenre until there are several artists working within it, who thereby establish it as a living, breathing subgenre with recognizable traits.

    As I said, records can exist that were early influences on said subgenre, but a scattering of such records doesn't constitute the critical mass necessary to establish the subgenre.

    I disagree that the two versions are "pretty much identical." The Beatles' version lacks the production characteristics of contemporary country music. More importantly, Ringo would never be mistaken for a country vocalist of the era. Buck's version is a country record that rocks a little (but not all that much, really). The Beatles' version is a British rock band having some fun with country music (I don't mean that disparagingly...I believe they all liked it).

    Actually, he was looking for an individual song, not an artist:

    That sounds more to me like an attempt to find the earliest example of a song that fits comfortably into the genre that became known as country rock...i.e., one that wouldn't sound out of place if you were doing a compilation that focused on the genre.

    Again, I disagree. Records that were an influence on the genre that became identified as punk in 1976 or rock 'n' roll in 1955 existed...but they tend to lack one or more of the hallmarks of the genre in full flower.

    I see no point whatsoever to making a list of punk records and putting something by Gene Vincent on it, as some have done here in the past. And as influential as American garage rockers were on the punk movement, there's still a clear distinction between them and what came out in 1976.

    I find most of the examples lacking one element or another that qualifies them as a true early example of what became country rock, which is what the OP was looking for. I find that most of them fall into the influence category.

    Of course, I'm partial to my own thinking, but I still think my nominee, "Go and Say Goodbye" by Buffalo Springfield, fits the bill about as well as any!
  17. Beattles

    Beattles Forum Resident

    Florence, SC
    Gram Parsons, who wasn't the first to combine country music and 60's rock music, but maybe the most influincial, also incorporated a heavy dose of R&B in what he called Cosmic American Music (according to Emmylou Harris, Gram hated the term Country Rock). Around the same time as Gram's International Submarine Band, Ricky Nelson was recording Country Fever ('67) album with White and doing a Dylan tune, this was his second such LP and this was before the Stone Canyon Band which includied Randy Meisner.

    This is a track list for Volume 1 of 41 discs of Cosmic American Music that a couple of friends of mine and I have compiled.

    1. I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY The Beatles (Mar’65)
    2. ACT NATURALLY The Beatles (Oct’65)
    3. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? The Lovin’ Spoonful (Sept’65)
    4. BUCKAROO Buck Owens & The Buckaroos w/ Don Rich (Oct’65)
    5. SATISFIED MIND The Byrds w/ David Crosby (Jan’66)
    6. YOU JUST CAN’T QUIT Rick Nelson & Stone Canyon Band (Mar’66)
    7. DOWN THE ROAD I GO Pozo Seco Singers w/ D Williams (Mar’66)
    8. ELVIRA Dallas Frazier (May’66)
    9. THAT’S ALL IT TOOK Gene Pitney & George Jones (June’66)
    10. REASON TO BELIEVE Tim Hardin (Jun’66)
    11. NASHVILLE CATS The Lovin’ Spoonful w/ John Sebastain (Dec’66)
    12. NORWEGIAN WOOD Waylon Jennings (Dec’66)
    13. NOVEMBER NIGHTS International Submarine Band w/ Gram Parsons (Dec’66)
    14. LUXURY LINER International Submarine Band w/ Gram Parsons (Feb’67)
    15. DARLING BE HOME SOON The Lovin’ Spoonful w/ John Sebastain (Mar’67)
    16. THE GIRL WITH NO NAME The Byrds (Mar’67)
    17. TIME BETWEEN The Byrds w/ David Crosby (Mar’67)
    18. BUY FOR ME THE RAIN Nitty Gritty Dirt Band w/ Jackson Browne (Mar’67)
    19. JACKSON Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra (Jul’67)
    20. GENTLE ON MY MIND John Hartford (Jul’67)
    21. BRANDED MAN Merle Haggard w/ James Burton (Jul’67)
    22. DIFFERENT DRUM The Stone Poneys w/ Linda Ronstadt (Dec’67)
    23. RELEASE ME The Everly Brothers w/ James Burton (Jan’68)
    24. WASN’T BORN TO FOLLOW The Byrds w/ David Crosby (Feb’68)
    25. GOIN’ BACK The Byrds (Feb’68)
    26. UP TO MY NECK (In High Muddy Water) Linda Ronstadt & Stone Poneys (Mar’68)
    27. JENNIFER ECCLES The Hollies w/ Graham Nash (Mar’68)
    28. BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins (Apr’68)
    29. ONLY DADDY’LL WALK THE LINE Waylon Jennings w/ Chet Atkins (Jul’68)
    30. MAMA TRIED Merle Haggard w/ James Burton (Jul’68)

    These are intended to represent the most significant songs that crossed musical lines with with combinations of instrumentation and structure.
  18. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Of course. If Mike M wants to think "country rock" begins with the LA bands of '65-'66 because that's what received wisdom tells him then fine, I'll continue to think outside the box thank you very much. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of rock history can tell you The Byrds or Buffalo Springfield didn't invent it because "it" can't really be defined. There's no way you can give a functional definition of "country rock" which wouldn't sound like a lot of the Sun artists. Just because the Byrds do Portor Wagoner's "Satisfied Mind" in '65 which is a country song done in a folk rock (and there's another term we can debate until the cows come home) style that doesn't mean it's the birth of "country rock." These terms just exist so we can affix an easy label to a certain type of music for discussion--they're not carved in stone or anything.

    Fact: Elvis Presley made songs in the '50s which charted on both Billboard's pop and country charts as did Jerry Lee Lewis & The Everly Brothers. Now, how is someone going to argue that that isn't "country rock?" The Byrds or Buffalos (or any other LA '60s band for that matter) never charted on the country charts and people who listened to country music at that time probably wouldn't have even known who they were. That's a term invented by rock journalists like "progressive" or "metal." I wonder if Richie Furay would've appreciated his music being labeled as such. I know for a fact Gram Parsons didn't like the term.

    It's like those discussions about what is "punk" or what is "metal." They just go 'round in circles.

    And Henry, if I'm the guy who just likes to argue then why do you keep trying to get me to discuss things? I'm perfectly willing to completely ignore you if you can do the same. Both times you engaged me.
  19. Beattles

    Beattles Forum Resident

    Florence, SC
    My revised Track list should have included 1. Heart of Stone - The Rolling Stones (Dec '64) from Metamorphosis with a Pedal Steel and Jimmy Page.
  20. Hamhead

    Hamhead Sinatra promo specialist

    Don Rich using a Vox way!
    He was a Fender man.

    While we are on the subject.
    You have to hear Wanda Jacksons post rockabilly (early 60s) recordings. They didn't jump but they still rocked.
  21. klaatuhf

    klaatuhf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sydney, Australia
  22. klaatuhf

    klaatuhf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sydney, Australia
    Beattles, I would love to see the track listings of the other 40 Vols. Anywhere on the net where they can be looked at?
  23. klaatuhf

    klaatuhf Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sydney, Australia
  24. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
    BTW, they recorded this song on a 1963 album of mostly classic country - Hank Williams, Don Gibson, etc. It was a distinctly country album. And one of the best sounding recordings I have ever heard!
  25. Henry the Horse

    Henry the Horse Active Member

    Well, there's a difference between argument and discussion. Consider yourself ignored.
    Some people are unwilling to acknowledge the parameters of the CR genre, and are more interested in how "cleverly" they can bastardize the definition of the term to make it become more "nebulous".:biglaugh:
    As far as the first or prototypical "Country Rock" song is concerned, there have been some good examples here, but I haven't seen anything definitive. And there probably isn't since there were many who were simultaneously delving into the same territory.
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