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Country rock represented a merging of country instrumentation with rock's beat and socially conscious attitude. Its immediate precursors included rockabilly and the Nashville crossover pop of the 1960s exemplified by singers like Skeeter Davis ("End of the World"), Bobby Bare ("Detroit City"), Johnny Cash ("I Walk the Line"), Marty Robbins ("El Paso"), and Jim Reeves ("He'll Have to Go"). Country-rock was part of the backs-to-the-roots movement instigated by maturing baby boomers whose tastes were changing in favor of softer forms of pop music.

The genre's seminal artists--e.g., the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Eagles--were not welcome on mainstream country radio or in the prime concert venues catering to country fans. However, many of the leading country performers coming of age in the 1980s, including Garth Brooks, Clint Black, and Brooks and Dunn, grew up listening to country rock.


Top Artists and Their Recordings

The Byrds--Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)

Charlie Daniels (Band)--Te John, Grease and Wolfman (1970); Charlie Daniels (1971); Honey in the Rock (1972); Way Down Yonder (1973); Fire on the Mountain (1975); Nightrider (1975); Saddle Tramp (1976); Uneasy Rider (1976); High and Lonesome (1977); Midnight Wind (1977); Million Mile Reflections (1979); Full Moon (1980)

The Eagles--The Eagles (1972); Desperado (1973); On the Border (1974); One of These Nights (1975); Hotel California (1976); The Long Run (1979); Eagles Live (1980)

Steve Earle--Guitar Town (1986); Exit O (1987); Copperhead Road (1988); The Hard Way (1989)

Joe Ely--Joe Ely (1977); Honky Tonk Masquerade (1978); Down in the Drag (1979); Musta Notta Gotta Lotta (1981); Live Shots (1981)

The Flying Burrito Brothers--The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969); Burrito Deluxe (1970); The Flying Burrito Brothers (1971); Last of the Red Hot Burritos (1972); Close Up the Honky Tonks (1974); Flying Again (1975); Sleepless Nights (1976)

Kinky Friedman (and the Texas Jewboys)--Sold American (1974); Kinky Friedman (1975); Lasso From El Paso (1976)

International Submarine Band--Safe at Home (1967)

Jason and the Scorchers--Fervor (1984); Lost and Found (1985); Still Standing (1986)

Kris Kristofferson--Kristofferson (1970); Cisco Pete (1970); Silver Tongued Devil and I (1971); Border Lord (1972); Jesus Was a Capricorn (1973); Spooky Lady's Sideshow (1974); Who's to Bless and Who's to Blame (1975); Surreal Thing (1976); Songs of Kristofferson (1977); Easter Island (1978); Help Me Make It Through the Night (1980)

Mason Proffit--Wanted (1969); Moving Towards Happiness (1970); Rockfish Crossing (1971); Bareback Rider (1972)

Michael Martin Murphey--Geronimo's Cadillac (1972); Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir (1973); Michael Murphey (1974); Blue Sky Night Thunder (1975); Swans Against the Sun (1975); Flowing Free Forever (1976); Lone Wolf (1978); Peaks, Valleys, Honky-Tonks and Alleys (1979); Martin Martin Murphey (1982); The Heart Never Lies (1983)

Anne Murray--Snowbird (1970); Anne Murray (1971); Talk It Over in the Morning (1971); Anne Murray/Glen Campbell (1971); Annie (1972); Danny's Song (1973); Love Song (1974); Country (1974); Highly Prized Possession (1974); Together (1975); Keeping in Touch (1976); Let's Keep It That Way (1978); New Kind of Feeling (1979); I'll Always Love You (1979); A Country Collection (1980); Somebody's Waiting (1980)

Mike Nesmith--Wichita Train Whistle Sings (1968); Magnetic South (1970); Loose Salute (1971); Nevada Fighter (1971); Tantamount to Treason (1972); Pretty Much Your Standard Stash (1973); The Prison (1975); From the Radio Engine to Photon Wing (1977); Live at the Palais (1978); Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma (1979)

New Riders of the Purple Sage--New Riders of the Purple Sage (1971); Powerglide (1972); Gypsy Cowboy (1973); Adventures of Panama Red (1973); Home Home on the Road (1974); Brujo (1975); Oh What a Mighty Time (1975); New Riders (1976); Who Are These Guys (1977); Marin County Line (1978)

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band--Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1967); Ricochet (1967); Rare Junk (1967); Live (1969); Dead and Alive (1969); Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy (1970); All the Good Times (1972); Will the Circle Be Unbroken (1973); Stars and Stripes Forever (1974); Dream (1975); Dirt Band (1978); American Dream (1979)

Gram Parsons--GP (1973); Grievous Angel (1974); Early Years (1979)

Poco--Pickin' Up the Pieces (1969); Poco (1970); Deliverin' (1971); From the Inside (1971); A Good Feelin' to Know (1972); Crazy Eyes (1973); Seven (1974); Cantamos (1974); Head Over Heels (1975); Live (1976); Rose of Cimarron (1976); Indian Summer (1977); Legend (1978); Under the Gun (1980); Blue and Gray (1981); Cowboys and Englishmen (1982); Ghost Town (1982); Inamorata (1984); Legacy (1989)

Pousette-Dart Band--Pousette-Dart Band (1976); Amnesia (1977); Pousette-Dart Band 3 (1978)

Pure Prairie League--Bustin' Out (1975); Two Lane Highway (1975); If the Shoe Fits (1976); Dance (1976); Live!! Takin' the Stage (1977); Just Fly (1978); Can't Hold Back (1979); Firin' Up (1980); Something in the Night (1981)

Web Wilder and the Beatnecks--Hybrid Vigor (1989); Doo Dad (1991)