A look at the hippie girls who gave unswerving loyalty and love to their crazed guru, Charles Manson. The group includes Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkel, who followed Manson's orders to commit mass murder, and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who later tried to assassinate President Ford.
The story of Chevie O'Brien Kehoe, who was taught to be a white supremacist by his father and then went on a crime and murder spree.
Is Wayne Williams the monster responsible for killing 29 African Americans between 1979 and 1981? Or did the prosecution in Williams' trial withhold evidence that white supremacists were responsible? This in-depth probe explores the continuing controversy over the infamous Atlanta child murders that shocked the nation. We'll hear from the prosecutors, the defense attorney, a mother of one of the victims, and Williams, who keeps fighting for a new trial after nearly two decades in prison.
The "high, lonesome" style that defines the bluegrass sound comes from the experiences of the music's original composers, the Scots-Irish immigrants of Appalachia. Early bluegrass musician Lester Flatt brought the sound of the genre into the popular lexicon in 1948, when he helped found The Foggy Mountain Boys. He was joined by fellow musician Earl Scruggs, who expertly picked his banjo in the three-finger style that is carried on in the music of bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Alison Krauss snagged more than 26 Grammy awards for putting a contemporary twist on the music of her bluegrass predecessors—proof that the genre still resonantes with listeners.
Today's country stars run the gamut in terms of musical style, blending classic country sounds with bluegrass, pop and rock, among other genres. Explore our group of contemporary country stars to learn more about musicians like Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Jennifer Nettles, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.
When it comes to singing about struggle and emotion, there are few genres that match the intensity of country music. Country music was born from musicians that were brave enough to wear their hearts on their sleeves from happiness to heartache. Because of country icons like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Jimmie Rodgers, this southern, soulful genre has grown to become loved by many. Browse through the legends that established country music as the popular genre that it is today.
A uniquely American genre, country music got its start in the South in the early 19th century, when immigrants blended their Old World sounds with African-American musical styles. But it was the lives of the musicians, as told in their songs, that turned country into one of the best-loved musical styles in the United States. Listeners could relate to Jimmie Rodgers' stories of the railroad in "The Brakeman's Blues"; Hank Williams' struggle with depression in tunes such as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"; and the promise of finding someone to rely on in George Jones' "Walk Through This World With Me." And its the universal struggles of love, loss, joy and longing found in each country song that keeps this music—and its performers—relevant throughout time.
During the 1930s, partly to avoid the hillbilly image and partly owing to Hollywood's romance with the West, country music headed to the range. Western fringe and cowboy hats turned up on many singers onstage, while Gene Autry and Roy Rogers hit the country charts as "The Singing Cowboy" and the "King of the Cowboys," respectively. Autry made it big in Hollywood and on the radio, singing favorites like "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Frosty the Snowman." Rogers and his wife, "Queen of the West" Dale Evans, also straddled the worlds of music and movies with their Wild West personas.
The association of country music with the wide open spaces of the western United States made such a deep impact on popular culture during this time that it never quite faded from the public perception of the country genre. To this day, Cowboy Country music serves as a reminder of our continued yearning for a life that's beautiful, pastoral and—ultimately—more simple.
The Nashville Sound developed in the late 1950s, when recording studios and artists replaced some of the traditional elements of honky-tonk music with more contemporary pop music sounds. Producer and musician Chet Atkins was one of the genre's inventors, and is credited with bringing country music to a much wider audience. With his smooth voice, Charley Pride is one of country music's few African-American stars—and the only one to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Women were also crucial to the popularity of the Nashville sound, with stars like Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynne bringing women's perpectives, as well as glamour, to the genre.
Not only did the Nashville Sound influence the sound of country music, but it also helped to establish Nashville, Tennessee, as the country music capital of the world. Thousands of aspiring artists now flock to the city each year, hoping they might be the next big, musical discovery.