In Louisville, a 45-year-old man is found gunned down in the snow. Det. Rick Arnold and his team track down a key witness who is forced to chose between her friendship with the suspect and her own freedom.
When a 21-year-old father is gunned down in a parking lot in broad daylight, Louisville Det. Keith Roberts begins investigating one of the most brazen murders he has ever seen. As he scrambles to find clues and track down witnesses, he gets two important pieces of information--the license plate number of a car that fled the scene and confirmation that the crime-scene parking lot has a surveillance camera. But will the leads pan out and direct Roberts to the killers or will it prove to be an exercise in futility?
When a friendly house party turns into a double murder, the only female homicide detective in Cleveland has to piece together what went wrong. In Harris County, a hardworking father stops off for a drink after work and ends up the victim of a robbery gone bad.
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.