Classic Country Music

Classic country music is still popular today, and not just among country music fans. You can still hear country music legends such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers played on classic country radio stations, pop stations and even some classic rock stations. If you're new to country music, here are some classic artists that you should know.

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash was born John R. Cash on February 26, 1932. He died on September 12, 2003. He is one of the best-known country music singer-songwriters. Not only did he sing country, but he also sang rockabilly and rock and roll. He also sang some blues, gospel and folk music. He earned the nickname "The Man in Black" because he always wore dark clothing. His most popular songs are "Man in Black," "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Ring of Fire." Cash's music gained a new generation of fans when the Oscar-winning film Walk the Line was released in 2005.

Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn has been singing country music for over 40 years. Her husband, Doolittle Lynn, taught her how to play the guitar. Her career got a big mainstream boost with the 1980 release of Coal Miner's Daughter, a movie based on her autobiograhpy. Her title song for the film became one of Lynn's biggest hits. She got her influence from Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline. Loretta Lynn has helped shaped country music throughout the past four decades.

Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, on September 8, 1932. She got her start in country music in 1946, when she auditioned for Jim McCoy at WINC in Winchester. Through the years, she wrote and sang many hits and influenced many singers in country and pop music. She married Gerald Cline on March 7, 1953, and officially became "Patsy Cline." She divorced Gerald in 1957, but kept the last name. Patsy died at the age of 30 in a plane crash in Tennessee.

Dolly Parton
Born on January 19, 1946, in Sevierville, Tennessee, Dolly Parton shared her childhood with 11 brothers and sisters. Parton's family was poor, and she helped support them by singing on local TV and radio shows. By her teen years, she was appearing at the Grand Ole Opry, where Johnny Cash encouraged her to pursue a career as an entertainer. Parton headed to Nashville after graduation and immediately found work writing songs for country artists. In the 1970s, her song "Here You Come Again" crossed over and rose to number three on the Hot 100 charts, paving the way for more hits and a film career that included movies such as 9 to 5 and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

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