Country By The Decade

In celebration of the Grand Ole Opry's 92nd birthday, our weekly blog series, Country by the Decade, highlights various artists and moments that altered the course of the genre forever. Explore any of the decades by clicking below.

  • 1950s
    In the 1950s, country music continued to benefit from commercial success thanks to post-war prosperity. While the ’50s were generally regarded as a feel-good era in America, country music was ironically dominated by tear-in-my-beer honky-tonk songs in the first portion of the decade. Read More
  • 1960s
    Along with rapidly changing cultural mores, the 1960s also brought an explosion of new musical genres, from psychedelic rock to bubblegum pop. It seems as if the entire universe had been seized by “Beatlemania” during the decade, but a great deal was happening in the country music world, too. Read More
  • 1970s
    In the 1970s, an incomparable trifecta of talented women emerged on the country music scene: Dolly, Loretta, and Tammy. All three had rural upbringings and enough raw talent that their first names can stand alone. Read More
  • 1980s
    Country music was undoubtedly having a moment in the 1970s as the rest of the nation took note of the genre’s many superstars who rose to fame in the era. Heading into the 1980s, crossover was commonplace, even among the artists who longed for the “authenticity” that seemed to have gone missing in the music. Read More
  • 1990s
    After a cowboy craze in the 1980s, country music caught the line-dancing bug. The music scene was suddenly peppered with jazz squares and infectious choruses like that of Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart.” Read More
  • 2000s
    While country music saw a great revival in the 1990s, the genre’s fan base had even more room to grow in the new millennium. Popular singing competition shows like American Idol and Nashville Star showcased the talents of small-town artists on television screens across the nation. Read More
mike650AM / WSM
Listen Live! Stream 650 AM WSM The Legend right here on