The entire development of Western Popular music has been
influenced by Scottish themes, traditions, composers and performers. The
Schottische, a 2/4 dance, was an inspiration for Chopin, Schubert, and
Beethoven. Hayden and Beethoven wrote and arranged numerous Scottish songs.
Scottish Country Dancing is still performed all over the
world. It is no longer folk music, but rather Ballroom music and dancing of
America's first commercial songwriter, Stephen Foster, was
of Scottish-Irish ancestry. His song "Swanee River" has sold more sheet music
copies than any other song ever published.
Bluegrass music, is the commercial descendant of the
Scottish oral tradition and was founded in 1938 by Bill Monroe, a Scottish
American and a descendant of Americas fifth president, James Monroe.
Several Scottish artists have helped evolve popular music
from its beginnings. Woody Guthrie and his son Arlo, Joan Baez and James
Taylor are the forerunners of Folk and Blues.
Glen Cambell and Johnny Cash have spoken of their Scottish
ancestry on television.
Swing and Standard music of the 30's and 40's boasted of
talents such as Judy Garland, a singer of Partly Scottish ancestry. Hoagy
Carmichael, a Scottish American was one of the most famous of the standard
composers giving us such classics as "Stardust" and "Georgia on my Mind".
Johnny Mercer, a Scot, is celebrated as one of America's best lyricists.
In the late 50's, Elvis Presley changed Popular music
forever. He descended from Andrew Presley, who had come to America from
Scotland two centuries before. Presley was an actor and a singer, influenced
by the old traditional music of the American South. He performed Gospel, Blues
and Rock N Roll.