Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk blues. Country music consists of ballads and dance tunes with simple forms, folk lyrics, harmonies accompanied by string instruments such as banjos and acoustic guitars, steel guitars, fiddles as well as harmonicas. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. According to Lindsey Starnes, the term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music. In 2009 in the United States, country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, second most popular in the morning commute; the term country music is used today to describe many subgenres. The origins of country music are found in the folk music of working class Americans, who blended popular songs and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, cowboy songs, the musical traditions of various groups of European immigrants.
Immigrants to the southern Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America brought the music and instruments of Europe along with them for nearly 300 years. Country music was "introduced to the world as a Southern phenomenon." The U. S. Congress has formally recognized Bristol, Tennessee as the "Birthplace of Country Music", based on the historic Bristol recording sessions of 1927. Since 2014, the city has been home to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Historians have noted the influence of the less-known Johnson City sessions of 1928 and 1929, the Knoxville sessions of 1929 and 1930. In addition, the Mountain City Fiddlers Convention, held in 1925, helped to inspire modern country music. Before these, pioneer settlers, in the Great Smoky Mountains region, had developed a rich musical heritage; the first generation emerged in the early 1920s, with Atlanta's music scene playing a major role in launching country's earliest recording artists. New York City record label Okeh Records began issuing hillbilly music records by Fiddlin' John Carson as early as 1923, followed by Columbia Records in 1924, RCA Victor Records in 1927 with the first famous pioneers of the genre Jimmie Rodgers and the first family of country music The Carter Family.
Many "hillbilly" musicians, such as Cliff Carlisle, recorded blues songs throughout the 1920s. During the second generation, radio became a popular source of entertainment, "barn dance" shows featuring country music were started all over the South, as far north as Chicago, as far west as California; the most important was the Grand Ole Opry, aired starting in 1925 by WSM in Nashville and continuing to the present day. During the 1930s and 1940s, cowboy songs, or Western music, recorded since the 1920s, were popularized by films made in Hollywood. Bob Wills was another country musician from the Lower Great Plains who had become popular as the leader of a "hot string band," and who appeared in Hollywood westerns, his mix of country and jazz, which started out as dance hall music, would become known as Western swing. Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electric guitar to his band, in 1938. Country musicians began recording boogie in 1939, shortly after it had been played at Carnegie Hall, when Johnny Barfield recorded "Boogie Woogie".
The third generation started at the end of World War II with "mountaineer" string band music known as bluegrass, which emerged when Bill Monroe, along with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were introduced by Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry. Gospel music remained a popular component of country music. Another type of stripped-down and raw music with a variety of moods and a basic ensemble of guitar, dobro or steel guitar became popular among poor whites in Texas and Oklahoma, it became known as honky tonk, had its roots in Western swing and the ranchera music of Mexico and the border states. By the early 1950s a blend of Western swing, country boogie, honky tonk was played by most country bands. Rockabilly was most popular with country fans in the 1950s, 1956 could be called the year of rockabilly in country music, with Johnny Cash emerging as one of the most popular and enduring representatives of the rockabilly genre. Beginning in the mid-1950s, reaching its peak during the early 1960s, the Nashville sound turned country music into a multimillion-dollar industry centered in Nashville, Tennessee.
The late 1960s in American music produced a unique blend as a result of traditionalist backlash within separate genres. In the aftermath of the British Invasion, many desired a return to the "old values" of rock n' roll. At the same time there was a lack of enthusiasm in the country sector for Nashville-produced music. What resulted was a crossbred genre known as country rock. Fourth generation music included outlaw country with roots in the Bakersfield sound, country pop with roots in the countrypolitan, folk music and soft rock. Between 1972 and 1975 singer/guitarist John Denver released a se
Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. In common parlance, the term refers to physical written media, such as books and magazines, or digital media, such as e-books and websites, it can apply to albums, brochures, video content, zines, or uploading images to a website. Unlike the traditional publishing model, in which control of the publication is shared with a publisher, the author controls the entire process, including design, distribution and public relations; the author may perform these activities they may outsource these tasks. In traditional publishing, the publisher bears the costs, such as editing and paying advances, reaps a substantial share of the profits; the $1 billion market of self-publishing has changed in the past two decades with new technologies such as the Internet providing increasing alternatives to traditional publishing. Self-publishing is becoming the first choice for writers. Most self-published books sell few copies, although there are a dozen books that sell into the millions.
The quality of self-published works varies with many low quality titles on the market. Self-publishing is not a new phenomenon. In 1759, British satirist Laurence Sterne's self-published the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy. While most novels were distributed by established publishers, there have been authors who chose to self-publish, or who chose to start their own presses, such as John Locke, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Martin Luther, Marcel Proust, Derek Walcott, Walt Whitman. In 1908, Ezra Pound sold A Lume Spento for six pence each. Franklin Hiram King's book Farmers of Forty Centuries was self-published in 1911, was subsequently published commercially. In 1931 the author of The Joy of Cooking paid a local printing company to print 3000 copies. In 1941, writer Virginia Woolf chose to self-publish her final novel Between the Acts on her Hogarth Press, in effect starting her own press. Five years ago, self-publishing was a scar. Now it's a tattoo. Up until two decades ago, self-publishing used to be described by the negative term vanity press, with the connotation that the only reason that a book was being printed was to satisfy the author's personal ego.
Authors were considered to have been insufficiently talented to have been published the "proper" way via an established publishing house. Traditional publishers paid authors a percentage of the sales of their books, so publishers would select only those authors whose books they believed were to sell well; as a result, it was difficult for an unknown author to get a publishing contract under these circumstances. So-called vanity publishers offered an alternative: they would publish any book in exchange for an upfront payment by the author. With this arrangement, the author would not own the print run of finished books, would not control how they were distributed. Critics of vanity publishers included James D. Macdonald, who claimed that vanity publishing violated Yog's Law which states that "Money should flow toward the author." Vanity publishing required a one-time payment of $5,000 to $10,000 to do a print run of 1000 books. Self-published books have had a negative stigma. To be sure, self-publishing is sometimes seen as a sign that an author believes in her work.
Part of the reason for the negative stigma is that many self-published books in past decades, were of dubious quality. For example, in 1995, a retired TV repairman self-published his autobiography in which he described how he had been stepped on by a horse when he was a boy, how he had been murdered by his stepfather when he was a young man in Mexico, how his ex-wife had clawed his face with her fingernails; the repairman spent $10,000 to have his 150-page masterpiece printed up, for promotion purposes, he sent copies to a local library, to the White House, to everybody with the repairman's same last name. These efforts did not lead anywhere. In the first decade of the 21st century, self-publishing was seen as a "mark of failure", although there are many indicators that this is changing; the image of self-publishing has been improving, since many well-known writers, who generate high quality content, have first started by self-publishing, or have switched from traditional publishing to self-publishing.
According to some views, the stigma of self-publishing is gone while others feel that self-publishing still has a way to go to cultivate respectability. Book critic Ron Charles in the Washington Post complained in an opinion piece that "No, I don't want to read your self-published book", citing concerns that there were too many published authors, that self-published books lacked quality, were published by authors with little understanding of the audience or the market, but the negative stigma has been receding with the advent of dozens of authors who have self-published their way to literary success. Breakaway bestsellers such as Fifty Shades of Grey and The Martian were first self-published, helping to lend respectability to self-publishing in general. Further, with new avenues of self-publishing
Walker, Texas Ranger
Walker, Texas Ranger is an American action crime television series created by Leslie Greif and Paul Haggis. It was inspired by the film Lone Wolf McQuade, with both this series and that film starring Chuck Norris as a member of the Texas Ranger Division; the show aired on CBS in the spring of 1993, with the first season consisting of three pilot episodes. Eight full seasons followed with new episodes airing from September 25, 1993, to May 19, 2001, reruns continuing on CBS until July 28, 2001, it has been broadcast in over 100 countries and has since spawned a 2005 made-for-television movie entitled Trial By Fire. The movie ended on a cliffhanger, never resolved. DVD sets of all seasons have been released. At various times since 1997, reruns of the show have aired, in syndication, on the USA Network and Action in Canada. Reruns are seen on CBS Action, WGN America, INSP and Grit and 10 Bold, being part of Network Ten in Australia; the series was noted for its moralistic style. The characters refrained from the use of drugs, they participated in community service.
Martial arts were displayed prominently as the primary tool of law enforcement and as a tool for Walker and company to reach out to the community. The show was developed by executive producer Allison Moore and supervising producer J. Michael Straczynski when the series was still being produced by Cannon Television. While Straczynski had to depart to get his new series Babylon 5 on the air, executive producer David Moessinger remained to finish developing the series; the show is centered on Sergeant Cordell Walker, a Dallas–Fort Worth–based member of the Texas Rangers, a state-level bureau of investigation. Walker was raised by his paternal uncle, a Native American named Ray Firewalker; the surname being a nod to the 1986 Norris film, Firewalker. Cordell, prior to joining the Rangers, served in the Marines' elite recon unit during the Vietnam War. Both Cordell and Uncle Ray share the values characteristic of Wild West sheriffs, his partner and best friend is James "Jimmy" Trivette, a former Dallas Cowboys player, "Go Long Trivette", who takes a more modern approach.
Walker's young partner used football as his ticket to college education. He was dropped from the team after he tore up his shoulder in a major game, which led to his career in the Rangers. Trivette works inside the office using computers and cellular phones to collate information of the people who have been taken into custody. Walker works with Alexandra "Alex" Cahill, a Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney, who on occasion puts up a frown if Walker does not obtain results in time, he gets advice on cases from C. D. Parker, a veteran Ranger who worked with Walker until retiring to operate a small restaurant and bar called "CD's Bar and Grill", a restaurant known in the series for its chili. In Season 7, two rookie Texas Rangers, Sydney Cooke, Francis Gage, are assigned under Walker and Trivette's command; the series was well-known during its run for its product placement deal with Chrysler its Dodge division. After Walker used a GMC Sierra during the first season, he switched to the Dodge Ram, which would be advertised during commercial breaks.
Other members of the cast used other Chrysler vehicles, while villains would drive vehicles from General Motors or Ford Motor Company. This was not unlike The Andy Griffith Show, which used Ford vehicles due to a sponsorship deal with Andy Griffith. Coincidentally, the show ended just as Dodge was getting ready to redesign the Ram again for the 2002 model year; however the 2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10 was used in the movie Trial by Fire, driven by Walker. Chuck Norris as Texas Ranger Sgt. Cordell Walker, a former Marine and a modern-day Ranger who believes in the Code of the Old West, he is a martial arts expert. He is the show's main protagonist. Appeared in all episodes. Clarence Gilyard as Texas Ranger Sgt. James "Jimmy" Trivette, Walker's partner and best friend. A former professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys. Appeared in all but two episodes. Sheree J. Wilson as Tarrant County Assistant D. A. Alexandra "Alex" Cahill, whom Walker dates for a few seasons and marries. Appeared in all but five episodes.
Noble Willingham as retired Texas Ranger Captain C. D. Parker, Walker's buddy and ex-partner who owns a bar-restaurant in Fort Worth, is the only one to address Walker by his first name Cordell regularly. C. D came out of retirement to assist Walker and Trivette. Appeared in 155 episodes. Nia Peeples as Texas Ranger Sydney "Syd" Cooke, a rookie Ranger who joins Walker in Seasons 7 & 8. Appeared in 47 episodes. Judson Mills as Texas Ranger Francis Gage, another rookie Ranger who joins Walker in Seasons 7 & 8. Appeared in 46 episodes. Floyd Westerman as Walker's paternal uncle Ray Firewalker, who raised Cordell after his parents – John and Elizabeth Firewalker – were murdered. Ray is revealed to have died a few seasons later. Appeared in 14 episodes. Marco Sanchez a
Jenny Simpson (album)
Jenny Simpson is the only album by American country music singer Jenny Simpson. It was released on November 1998 via Mercury Nashville, it includes the single "Ticket Out of Kansas", Simpson's only chart entry, recorded by Regina Regina on their debut album. Included is "Grow Young with You", a duet with Michael Peterson; this song was recorded by Andy Griggs and Coley McCabe for the soundtrack to the 2000 film Where the Heart Is. Jana Pendragon of Allmusic gave the album two stars out of five, writing that Simpson "sounds like a million other young women trying to break into pop-country music." Jeffrey B. Remz of Country Standard Time said that Simpson's voice was "pleasant enough", but thought that the album's sound lacked variety. "Ticket Out of Kansas" — 3:27 "Even When You're Not There" — 3:34 "A Million Miles Away" — 3:04 "Little Miracles" — 2:57 "You" — 4:58 "Foolish as That May Be" — 4:33 "Under the Rainbow" — 3:20 "Grow Young with You" — 3:53 duet with Michael Peterson "One Word" — 3:53 "So I Kissed Him" — 2:54 "Til Then" — 3:29 Compiled from liner notes.
Eddie Bayers — drums J. T. Corenflos — electric guitar Dan Dugmore — lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar Stuart Duncan — fiddle, mandolin Thom Flora — background vocals Larry Franklin — fiddle Paul Franklin — lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar Garth Fundis — background vocals John Gardner — drums Lisa Gregg — background vocals Aubrey Haynie — fiddle Brent Mason — electric guitar Ray Methvin — acoustic guitar, background vocals Greg Morrow — drums, percussion Steve Nathan — electric piano, organ, keyboards Dave Pomeroy — bass guitar Tom Roady — tambourine, chimes Matt Rollings — electric piano, organ Sunny Russ — background vocals Darrell Scott — acoustic guitar, mandolin Jenny Simpson — lead vocals, background vocals Biff Watson — acoustic guitar Andrea Zonn — background vocals String arrangements on tracks 5 and 7 by Kris Wilkinson
Roger Dean Miller was an American singer-songwriter and actor known for his honky-tonk-influenced novelty songs and his chart-topping country and pop hits "King of the Road", "Dang Me", "England Swings", all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era. After growing up in Oklahoma and serving in the United States Army, Miller began his musical career as a songwriter in the late 1950s, writing such hits as "Billy Bayou" and "Home" for Jim Reeves and "Invitation to the Blues" for Ray Price, he began a recording career and reached the peak of his fame in the mid-1960s, continuing to record and tour into the 1990s, charting his final top 20 country hit "Old Friends" with Willie Nelson in 1982. He wrote and performed several of the songs for the 1973 Disney animated film Robin Hood. In his life, he wrote the music and lyrics for the 1985 Tony-award winning Broadway musical Big River, in which he acted. Miller died from lung cancer in 1992 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame three years later.
His songs continued to be recorded by other singers, with covers of "Tall, Tall Trees" by Alan Jackson and "Husbands and Wives" by Brooks & Dunn. The Roger Miller Museum in his home town of Erick, was a tribute to Miller. Roger Miller was born in Fort Worth, the third son of Jean and Laudene Miller. Jean Miller died from spinal meningitis. Unable to support the family during the Great Depression, Laudene sent her three sons to live with three of Jean's brothers. Thus, Miller grew up on a farm outside Erick, with Elmer and Armelia Miller; as a boy, Miller did farm work, such as plowing. He would say he was "dirt poor" and that as late as 1951 the family did not own a telephone, he received his primary education at a one-room schoolhouse. Miller was an introverted child, would daydream or compose songs. One of his earliest compositions went: "There's a picture on the wall. It's the dearest of them all, Mother."Miller was a member of the National FFA Organization in high school. He listened to the Grand Ole Opry and Light Crust Doughboys on a Fort Worth station with his cousin's husband, Sheb Wooley.
Wooley bought him a fiddle. Wooley, Hank Williams, Bob Wills were the influences that led to Miller's desire to be a singer-songwriter, he began to perform in Oklahoma and Texas. At 17, he stole a guitar out of desperation to write songs, he chose to enlist in the United States Army to avoid jail. He quipped, "My education was Korea, Clash of'52." Near the end of his military service, while stationed in Atlanta, Miller played fiddle in the "Circle A Wranglers," a military musical group started by Faron Young. While Miller was stationed in South Carolina, an army sergeant whose brother was Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns, from the musical duo Homer and Jethro, persuaded him to head to Nashville after his discharge. On leaving the Army, Miller traveled to Nashville to begin his musical career, he met with Chet Atkins, who asked to hear him sing, loaning him a guitar since Miller did not own one. Out of nervousness, Miller sang a song in two different keys. Atkins advised him to come back when he had more experience.
Miller found work as a bellhop at Nashville's Andrew Jackson Hotel, he was soon known as the "singing bellhop." He was hired by Minnie Pearl to play the fiddle in her band. He met George Jones, who introduced him to music executives from the Starday Records label who scheduled an audition. Impressed, the executives set up a recording session with Jones in Houston. Jones and Miller collaborated to write "Tall, Tall Trees" and "Happy Child." After marrying and becoming a father, Miller put aside his music career to be a fireman in Amarillo, Texas. A fireman by day, he performed at night. Miller said that as a fireman he saw only two fires, one in a "chicken coop" and another he "slept through," after which the department "suggested that... seek other employment." Miller met Ray Price, became a member of his Cherokee Cowboys. He returned to Nashville and wrote "Invitation to the Blues,", covered by Rex Allen and by Ray Price, whose recording was a number three hit on country charts. Miller signed with Tree Publishing on a salary of $50 a week.
He wrote: "Half a Mind" for Ernest Tubb, "That's the Way I Feel" for Faron Young. Miller became one of the biggest songwriters of the 1950s, he was known to give away lines, inciting many Nashville songwriters to follow him around since, according to Killen, "everything he said was a potential song." Miller signed a recording deal with Decca Records in 1958. He was paired with singer Donny Lytle, who gained fame under the name Johnny Paycheck, to perform the Miller-written "A Man Like Me," and "The Wrong Kind of Girl." Neither of these honky-tonk-style songs charted. His second single with the label, featuring the B-side "Jason Fleming," foreshadowed Miller's future style. To make money, Miller went on tour with Faron Young's band as a drummer, although he had never drummed. During this period, he signed a record deal with Chet Atkins at RCA Victor, for whom Miller recorded "You Don't Want My Love" in 1960, which marked his first appearance on country charts, peaking at N
Music recording certification
Music recording certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped, sold, or streamed a certain number of units. The threshold quantity varies by nation or territory. All countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories, which are named after precious materials; the threshold required for these awards depends upon the population of the territory where the recording is released. They are awarded only to international releases and are awarded individually for each country where the album is sold. Different sales levels, some 10 times lower than others, may exist for different music media; the original gold and silver record awards were presented to artists by their own record companies to publicize their sales achievements. The first silver disc was awarded by Regal Zonophone to George Formby in December 1937 for sales of 100,000 copies of "The Window Cleaner"; the first gold disc was awarded by RCA Victor to Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in February 1942, celebrating the sale of 1.2 million copies of single "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
Another example of a company award is the gold record awarded to Elvis Presley in 1956 for one million units sold of his single "Don't Be Cruel". The first gold record for an LP was awarded by RCA Victor to Harry Belafonte in 1957 for the album Calypso, the first album to sell over 1,000,000 copies in RCA's reckoning. At the industry level, in 1958 the Recording Industry Association of America introduced its gold record award program for records of any kind, albums or singles, which achieved one million dollars in retail sales; these sales were restricted to U. S.-based record companies and did not include exports to other countries. For albums in 1968, this would mean shipping 250,000 units; the platinum certification was introduced in 1976 for the sale of one million units for albums and two million for singles, with the gold certification redefined to mean sales of 500,000 units for albums and one million for singles. No album was certified platinum prior to this year. For instance, the recording by Van Cliburn of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto from 1958 would be awarded a platinum citation, but this would not happen until two decades after its release.
In 1999, the diamond certification was introduced for sales of ten million units. In the late 1980s, the certification thresholds for singles were dropped to match that of albums; the first official designation of a "gold record" by the Recording Industry Association of America was established for singles in 1958, the RIAA trademarked the term "gold record" in the United States. On 14 March 1958, the RIAA certified its first gold record, Perry Como's hit single "Catch a Falling Star"; the Oklahoma! Soundtrack was certified as the first gold album four months later. In 1976, RIAA introduced the platinum certification, first awarded to the Eagles compilation album Their Greatest Hits on 24 February 1976, to Johnnie Taylor's single "Disco Lady" on 22 April 1976; as music sales increased with the introduction of compact discs, the RIAA created the Multi-Platinum award in 1984. Diamond awards, honoring those artists whose sales of singles or albums reached 10,000,000 copies, were introduced in 1999.
In the 20th century, for a part of the first decade of the 21st, it was common for distributors to claim certifications based on their shipments – wholesale to retail outlets – which led to many certifications which outstripped the actual final retail sales figures. This became much less common once the majority of retail sales became paid digital downloads and digital streaming. In most countries certifications no longer apply to physical media but now include sales awards recognizing digital downloads. In June 2006, the RIAA certified the ringtone downloads of songs. Streaming from on-demand services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Napster has been included into existing digital certification in the U. S since 2013 and the U. K. and Germany since 2014. In the U. S. and Germany video streaming services like YouTube, VEVO, Yahoo! Music began to be counted towards the certification, in both cases using the formula of 100 streams being equivalent to one download. Other countries, such as Denmark and Spain, maintain separate awards for digital download singles and streaming.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry was founded in 1996, grants the IFPI Platinum Europe Award for album sales over one million within Europe and the Middle East. Multi-platinum Europe Awards are presented for sales in subsequent multiples of one million. Eligibility is unaffected by time, is not restricted to European-based artists; the Independent Music Companies Association was founded in 2000 to grow the independent music sector and promote independent music in the interests of artistic and cultural diversity. IMPALA sales awards were launched in 2005 as the first sales awards recognising that success on a pan-European basis begins well before sales reach one million; the award levels are Silver, Double Silver, Double Gold, Diamond and Double Platinum. Below are certification thresholds for the United States, United Kingdom and France; the numbers in the tables are in terms of "units", where a unit represents one sale or one shipment of a given medium. Certific
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water