American Folk music, which is also known as Americana, consists of a very wide range of musical styles, including Bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, and Cajun. It is also known as roots music, as the American Folk music led to the development of many other forms of music which are very popular today, including rock and roll, the blues and jazz.
Many roots musicians do not consider themselves to be folk musicians, the main stated difference being that roots musicians deal with a slightly broader range of music. The roots musicians were the most popular in the first two to three decades of the 20th century, in great part due to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. The growth of the music recording industry at the time also helped. By the 1950s, roots music had taken on more of a pop-like sound and the Nashville sound of country music was developed and became popular. Many artists, rather than wanting to be named as being a singer of one particular category, categorized themselves as roots singers due to the broadness of the genre.