History South
Charlotte Country Music Story cover

Before the rise of Nashville, Charlotte ranked as one of the key radio and recording centers for the new genre of country music.

In 1985 the Folklife Section of the NC Arts Council teamed with Spirit Square Arts Center in Charlotte to put together a reunion of musicians active in the Queen City during the 1920s - 40s.

Thanks to project leader George Holt, Della Coulter, Tom Hanchett, Mary Anne McDonald, Paul Hultberg, concert MC George Hamilton IV and many others. This website, based on the booklet published in 1985, is created by Carol Sawyer with Kathy Crowe and Tom Hanchett.

Check out the musicians who took part in the Charlotte Country Music Story concerts:



Carter Family

Charlotte Country a Sixty Year Tradition

Radio was the key to country music during the 1920s - 40s, and Charlotte's WBT -- second station to sign on in the South -- led the way with hours of live performances each week. more>>

Mill children

The Piedmont Tradition

As Carolinians moved into the growing New South towns of the early 20th century, they brought their musical heritage with them. Music shifted from a family pastime to a professional vocation, but a deep-seated spirit of community continued to bond performers and listeners. more>>

Golden Gate

Recording in Charlotte 1927-1945

In the late 1930s, Charlotte ranked as perhaps the nation's busiest country music recording center -- and a hub for gospel, blues and jazz as well. more>>


Graphic Design by Kathy Crowe Design.     Web Design and Maintenance by Carol Sawyer.