My day job involves listening to FM radio stations in the top 30 markets of America. Here are the thickest regional accents that I hear in America.
1. Long Island. Or Lwon Guyland, as they call it. Easily the thickest accent in America, far worse than New York or Philadelphia, which have similar accents. Everyone on Long Island sounds like a gangster.
2. Boston. Baston. They still have that Kennedy sound working there. And you know what’s really funny? In Boston they make fun of Maine. One morning show has a bit called “Men from Maine” that is just a scream.
3. Chicago. In Chicago, instead of “Rock on” they say “Rack An.” Elwood Blues.
4. Minneapolis-St. Paul. I love this market. Watch the movie Fargo. They really do talk like that.
I’ve noticed a slight moderation of the southern accent in Atlanta. Oh, you still hear it a lot. “Me and Billy Bob, we was listenin’ to y’all’s ruh-adio stuh-ation?” But you also hear a lot of Yankees in Atlanta. Will the southern accent someday be gone with the wind?
Digression. And then there are our two Texas markets, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston. What is it with Texas? I mean, what is it with Texas? Do Texans EVER tire of hearing their state hyped as the greatest place on Earth? One country station has a promo that says, “I’d rather be a fence post in Texas than a king in Tennessee!” Uh, okay.
Texas has the only callers who identify what state they live in, as if there were any question. In Washington, callers say, “I’m from Tacoma.” In Illinois, callers say, “I’m from Chicago.” In Texas, callers say, “I’m from Houston, Texas!” As opposed to what, Houston, Arkansas? End of digression.
As a westerner I cannot identify a western accent. To me it just sounds like the standard American accent. (Having spent my early childhood in Kansas and Arkansas, I have a bit of a twang, but I've lost most of it since I moved to California in 1966.)