23 artists, 1678 songs
Western swing was country music's answer to big band swing during the 1930s and '40s. Western swing groups were extensions of the country string bands popular at that time and included instruments such as saxophone, drums and trumpet in addition to guitars, fiddle and upright bass. These groups were some of the first to feature the electric guitar, lap steel and pedal steel. The style originated in Texas and Oklahoma, and because radio and record labels placed restrictions on records according to racial and regional preferences, Western Swing enjoyed more popularity in the Midwest and western U.S. than it did in the East Coast and urban areas. Key early artists include Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Milton Brown and his Brownies and Spade Cooley and his Orchestra. Several bands like Asleep at the Wheel are keeping the genre alive today.