by G. Brown
Music is the universal language and one that we can all speak. Some prefer the mellow sounds of Jazz while another may live by the driving beat of rock n roll. Sometimes it’s a blend of genres that gets people moving like the skyrocketing success of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” that’s bridging hip hop to country music.
The pairing seems strange to some people, but Blacks and country music have a long history almost a century old with artists like Deford Bailey–the first known Black singer to wail to country’s tune. Jim Crow laws of 1927 made it difficult for Bailey to perform in a lot of venues. It was a problem that would also try to harness the carers of others likeCharlie Pride and Linda Martell. The specter of racism often drove a wedge before Blacks and country music, but racism, stereotypes, and ostracism were not enough to silent die-hard country music lovers no matter what color their skin was.
Here are 5 Black singers who went against the grain and brought their soulful sounds to the world of country music.