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Younger musicians around Memphis were beginning to play a mix of musical styles.
Paul Burlison, for one, was playing in nondescript hillbilly bands in the very early 1950s.
The shows were sometimes broadcast on KWEM Radio Station in West Memphis, Arkansas by Joe Manuel, who fronted the Jamboree and was a KWEM personality.
Every Saturday night in 1953, the dressing rooms backstage were a gathering place where musicians would come together and experiment with new sounds—mixing fast country, gospel, blues and boogie woogie.
During the 1930s and 1940s, two new sounds emerged.
Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys were the leading proponents of Western Swing, which combined country singing and steel guitar with big band jazz influences and horn sections; Wills's music found massive popularity.
Carl was already sending demos to New York record companies, who kept rejecting him, sometimes explaining that this strange new style of country with a pronounced rhythm fit no current commercial trend.
The Honky Tonk sound, which "tended to focus on working-class life, with frequently tragic themes of lost love, adultery, loneliness, alcoholism, and self-pity", also included songs of energetic, uptempo Hillbilly Boogie.One source mentions both local disc jockey Dewey Phillips and Sam Phillips as being influential. As long as you could play, say, the top eight or ten songs from country, pop, R&B.They didn't care what instruments you had, as long as people could dance." The Saturday Night Jamboree was a local stage show held every Saturday night at the Goodwyn Institute Auditorium in downtown Memphis, Tennessee in 1953–54.Guys were bringing in new "licks" that they had developed and were teaching them to other musicians and were learning new "licks" from yet other musicians backstage.Soon these new sounds began to make their way out onto the stage of the Jamboree where they found a very receptive audience.
Some of the better known musicians who recorded and performed these songs are: the Delmore Brothers, the Maddox Brothers and Rose, Merle Travis, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.