The United States enjoys an influential music history. A single brief article cannot possibly cover this rich landscape adequately. Just consider five cities which have made contributions in this field:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Few cities have influenced popular music as much as New Orleans. Long a center for Southern music, especially Dixieland, Jazz, Blues, and Gospel Music, its musical roots stretch back into the 1800s, and beyond. The Mardi Gras celebrations offer local musicians many venues to display their talent every year. Between 1890 and 1910, modern New Orleans Style Jazz developed here.
For generations, Nashville has enjoyed acclaim as a center of Country Music and Appalachian Bluegrass. The Grand Ole Opry, founded in 1925, offers influential weekly live performances, showcasing the work of some of the nation’s leading artists in these genres. As Budget points out, you can get a taste of country music history with a tour of music row or take a self-guided walking tour or hire a local tour guide company and find yourself standing in the place where musical giants like Elvis Presley recorded hundreds of hit songs. You can also catch music history in the making on Music Row at local bars and clubs that offer live music to patrons. The city has attracted scores of acclaimed musicians, songwriters, and record producers for decades, generating a vibrant creative culture.
Baltimore may seem like an unlikely nexus for music history in the United States. Yet a very significant event happened here. During the Crown’s attack on Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, a lawyer named Francis Scott Key saw the U.S. flag still flying over the harbor after a night of intense British cannon fire. He penned the poem which would later become The Star Spangled Banner, the U.S. National Anthem, as a tribute to the resolve of the American people to maintain their freedom at all costs.
Detroit has served as a pivotal location in the popularization of some important modern musical genres, thanks in large part to the recording industry. It provided venues for the development of Blues and Gospel music throughout the 1900s. Numerous musicians from the area gained fame as Jazz artists and Big Band artists, too. Culture Trip recommends taking a walk down West Grand Boulevard in downtown Detroit and you’ll find Hitsville U.S.A., the original headquarters of Motown Records and current home of the Motown Museum. Detroit became an important popular record producing center after the founding of Motown Records in 1959, influencing many genres (including Punk, Soul, and Hip-Hop).
San Francisco, California
During the mid-1960s, San Francisco lay at the heart of the counterculture’s Flower Child Movement. It became a center for experimentation and innovation in many fields, including music. Singers and bands which subsequently acquired national commercial fame attracted their first audiences in this location. The Haight-Ashbury district, in particular, became associated with the production of iconoclastic art and music.
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