country music


Every sign points to Ashley McBryde having a huge, huge year in 2020: The country singer experienced a major breakthr

It's common practice for chart-topping Nashville songwriters to see their accomplishments celebrated with lawn signs in front of industry offices, but Jenee Fleenor arrived at Sound Emporium Studios for her NPR interview to see a banner congratulating her on a different kind of milestone. This November, she became not only the first woman to win the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year award, but the first fiddle player to be honored in more than two decades.

Ali Harter-Street's Top 10 Albums of 2019

Dec 17, 2019

Ali Harter-Street, host of The Mean Hustle, shares her 10 favorite albums of 2019.

Four years after consultant Keith Hill's comment that women artists on country radio were best thought of as garnish — tomatoes, as in "hot" — added fuel to what was already becoming a major debate about sexism in country music, gender-equity activism in the genre has reached a tipping point.

Trisha Yearwood’s new album “Every Girl” is the Grammy-winning singer’s first solo country album in 12 years.

Yearwood rose to fame with her 1991 debut hit Billboard No. 1 hit single “She’s in Love with the Boy.”

Almost two decades and 14 albums later, Yearwood hosts the Food Network show “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” and will be hosting the CMA Country Christmas show on Tuesday night.

Country music is synonymous with Nashville. But there’s a city in Southern California that is often dubbed “Nashville West.” 

About an hour outside of Nashville, in the hills of Middle Tennessee, you'll find a sprawling compound of cabins and farmhouses with red roofs; a place where horses run the pastures and mist tends to settle in the valleys between the hills. If it weren't for the work that happens here, this could be a vacation retreat for Nashville's entertainment industry – a getaway from the trappings of daily life, to disconnect and forget the world outside. But here, at OnSite Workshops, the idea isn't to leave your life behind, but to process everything that's happened in it.


This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. In the new Ken Burns PBS series on the history of country music, my guest, Doug Green, talks about the era of the singing cowboy as epitomized by the most popular one, Gene Autry. Cowboy lore, folk ballads, jazz, Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood are all ingredients of the music of the singing cowboys who were movie staples in the '30s and '40s and then on TV in the '50s.

Country music has a gender problem. Women only make up 16% of country artists, and even fewer are songwriters.

When women do break into the mainstream — the likes of Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Kacey Musgraves — they're often young. The average age of the genre's top female artists is 29 years old.

Director Ken Burns has told the story of America through the lens of the U.S. Civil War, baseball, jazz and the war in Vietnam. Now, he's telling it again through the soundtrack and the struggle of country music.