The Boot has a great story about how different country bands came up with their names. There are a “few dozen” groups in the story, which means they covered most of the big ones, plus several obscure bands.
Here are two that most people seem to know about: The Dixie Chicks got their name from the Little Feat song “Dixie Chicken“. And Florida’s Brian Kelley partnered up Georgia’s Tyler Hubbard to form Florida Georgia Line.
Here are some you may not know:
Lady Antebellum: That name originated at a publicity shoot that featured a pre-Civil War Southern mansion for a scenic backdrop.
Little Big Town: They heard about a Nashville music publisher called Little Big Town Music Group, and then got the okay to go ahead and use it.
Lonestar: They started out calling themselves Texassee, since the original members were natives of Texas who met in Tennessee. But that was confusing to say and spell, so they wisely changed it to Lonestar.
Lanco: They started out as Lancaster & Co. thanks to lead singer Brandon Lancaster. They eventually shortened it to Lanco.
LoCash: When Preston Brust was a kid he hung out with a bunch of friends that called themselves LoCash Money Boys. He and Chris Lucas turned that into LoCash Cowboys before settling on LoCash.
Midland: No, they’re not named after Midland, Texas. They’re all from the West Coast and their name comes from the Dwight Yoakam song “Fair to Midland”.
The Cadillac Three: Jaren Johnston, Kelby Ray, and Neil Mason started out in a band called American Bang and then split-off to perform as The Cadillac Black. That eventually morphed into The Cadillac Three.
Eli Young Band: You may know this one: It’s a combination of lead singer Mike Eli and guitarist James Young. They eventually added bassist Jon Jones and drummer Chris Thompson to the band . . . but NOT to the band’s name.
Diamond Rio: They took the name Diamond Rio off the side of a truck.