With the release of her album Color Me Country in January of 1970, Linda Martell became the first commercially successful Black female country artist. She became the first solo Black woman to play at the Grand Ole Opry in 1969. She would go on to play at the Opry eleven more times.
Linda was discovered by furniture sales-turned agent Duke Rayner while singing rhythm and blues at an Air Force base in North Carolina. She initially thought Duke was a "kook" when he began calling her long-distance asking if she would make a demo tape singing country and western.
The deeply influential pioneer of American roots music.
A folk guitar master. She won her first Grammy at age 90.
He rose above many hardships to become a country icon.
An instrumental figure in the birth of country music.
The Jackie Robinson of country music.
The term covers subgenres like hard bop and free jazz.
The sound of young America masterminded by Berry Gordy.
Combines rhythm and blues and gospel music styles.
Soul gets high.
Rock loses the roll but gains amplitude and attitude.