Jamaicans have had a love affair with country music for a very long time, a fact that surprises most people. Jamaicans have listened to it since the 1920s and 1930s, it has been broadcast regularly since the first radio station started operating in Jamaica, and artists across the country have performed covers of a wide variety of country hits.
The popularity of country-western music has not waned at all since it captured the attention of listeners in Jamaica. The genre is performed all over the island and has become a tradition on Sunday afternoons.
There have been notable collaborations between country-western music icons and Jamaican legends. One of them involved Willie Nelson, Toots of Toots & The Maytals and Bonnie Raitt. Another was between Kenny Rogers and Wyclef Jean. Some of the reasons Jamaicans have always been fans of country music are as follows.
1. Jamaicans could access signals from powerful radio stations in the southern United States that primarily broadcast country music, introducing them to the genre early on.
2. Radio Jamaica Rediffusion offered a subscription service that allowed popular country artists to present their music. He was extremely popular, leading to covers of Jamaican artists.
3. American films featuring singing cowboys such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Ken Curtis and Tex Ritter were shown widely in Jamaica in the 1940s and 1950s.
4. Country music lends itself to adaptations for reggae, ska and dancehall versions and performances.
5. The music speaks of conditions and subjects dear to the hearts of Jamaicans.
6. The country and western genre appeals to the Jamaican spirit of individuality and the “bad guy” as a folk hero.
7. The songs tell good stories about the “people below”.
8. Jamaicans have a strong romantic streak and the love songs of the country’s music resonate with them.
9. It’s easy to dance.
10. Country music, like Jamaican music, has a soul.
Photo – Photo deposit