Georgia Grown: Georgia’s Music Pioneers

Georgia artists topping the charts today frequently acknowledge the influence of the pioneers who paved the way before them. Click on the names below and get to know the singers, songwriters and entertainers who will forever be considered Georgia music legends.
The Allman Brothers Band

Savannah native Johnny Mercer penned more than 1,500 songs during his career. Credit: Courtesy of the Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University

Savannah native Johnny Mercer penned more than 1,500 songs during his career. Credit: Courtesy of the Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University

Boudleaux and Felice Bryant

Brenda Lee

Chet Atkins

Gladys Knight

James Brown

Jessye Norman

Joe South

Johnny Mercer 

Though he lost his sight completely by age 7, Ray Charles learned to write and play music and became known as a pop hitmaker. Credit: Corbis

Though he lost his sight completely by age 7, Ray Charles learned to write and play music and became known as a pop hitmaker. Credit: Corbis

Little Richard Penniman

Otis Redding

Ray Charles

Thomas Dorsey

Tommy Roe

 

 

lisaLisa Love serves as Director of Music Marketing and Development for the Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. A somewhat passable bass player who should never be allowed to sing, she is founding editor Georgia Music magazine, which celebrates the state’s legends, landmarks and unsung heroes.