DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Dec 1 2008

Georgia on My Mind

by Amanda L

Do the words Georgia on my Mind conjure up Ray Charles? It amazes me how many big name music stars and bands are from Georgia or have deep ties to this state. I thought I would list some fairly current artists that have called Georgia or currently call Georgia home. The Library has music from everyone included in this list. The list crosses several genres and should give everyone a moment to be proud of a fellow Georgian. I confirmed that they had Georgia connections and gathered the biographical information from our database Biography Resource Center (under History and Biography) or allmusic.com.

In the Popular genre, there are many names that come to mind, Monica was born in College Park. She, along with Brandy, won a Grammy Award for Best R & B performance by a duo (1999). Usher is another artist who, although born in Dallas, Texas, is claimed by Atlanta. His family moved to Atlanta because of the city’s reputation for launching R & B careers. He has won many Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Performance (2001 & 2002).

Athens, Georgia has been known for launching many bands. The best known band is R.E.M. This band is still around and cranking out music after their debut album in 1983. A more current band from Athens is the Drive-By Truckers. The band is made up of members who claim either Georgia or Alabama as home.

In the Country genre, there are many who hail from Georgia. Alan Jackson probably holds the most awards of the current musicians. He was born in Newnan, Georgia. He has been awarded several Country Music Awards (CMA) ranging from CMA male vocalist of the year to CMA song of the year. Trisha Yearwood, who was born in Monticello, Georgia, and Travis Tritt, who was born in Marietta, Georgia, were very popular in the 1990s. They continue to make and record new music. Who can forget Sugarland? Before the members formed the band they used to play regularly around the Atlanta area.

In the Christian Contemporary genre, there are many hot new bands from Georgia. The two that receive the most radio airplay are Third Day and Casting Crowns. Third Day has won Grammys for Best Rock Gospel Album (2002) and Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album (2006). Casting Crowns while formed originally in Florida, relocated to McDonough, Georgia in 2001.
They won a Grammy for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album in 2005. I know I have not touched on all of our Georgia Musicians, so feel free to comment on your favorite Georgia artists.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jnai W December 1, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Does John Mayer count? He lived in ATL for a while even though he’s from Connecticut or somewhere like that. Great post!

Jimmy L December 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM

OutKast is another one.

Amanda L December 1, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Those both are good additions. If your interested in this post, you might check out AJC’s post on “Who’s Your Hometown Grammy Pick”. I missed T.I. and Rihanna . The Library has music from both of these hometown artists.

Stormlover December 2, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Here are a few others – TLC, Gladys Knight, Ludacris, Lil Jon, & the Indigo Girls. Great post AL!

Ken December 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

How about one from opera? Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore just sang the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) at the Atlanta Opera, and even though she’s from Atlanta, this was her Atlanta Opera debut. She was terrific! There’s a solo CD of hers in our catalog.

Lynn W. December 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM

The Atlanta Rhythm Section got its start as a studio band in Doraville and even had a hit in the ’70s called “Doraville”.

Lynn W. December 3, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Echoing Angels is another up-and-coming Atlanta-based band in the Christian genre that gets significant radio play.

David December 8, 2008 at 10:39 AM

There’s a street in Lithonia called Brenda Lee Lane, named after the country singer who grew up there.

joe m. December 10, 2008 at 2:46 PM

There are also a number of other great musicians from Athens, from the B-52s to Of Montreal and the Apples In Stereo.

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