It’s no secret that country music is a largely Caucasian genre. From the 19th century rube stereotypes in crude entertainment to an illustrated history of black oppression in the south (with which country music is of course directly associated), from Old-time, to Hillbilly, to Country & Western and beyond, the artists, industry and fan community have been overwhelmingly white. Yet, there is more than enough documentation of country’s interaction with blacks, various other “ethnic groups” and their music. Even some of the very first country artists to be recorded in the 1920s and 1930s took inspiration and learning from black players, and the black and white workers in the south mingled since slaves were first brought to the United States. Jimmie Rodgers for example, arguably country music’s first superstar, was heavily influenced by the blues, and this fact alone can be taken from his career-defining “Blue Yodels”, which retain his fame to this day.
Whilst Blake Shelton is gearing up for his 2021 Friends and Heroes tour in August, he recently made a startling admission on how he once