On August 4, 1927, Jimmie Rodgers—free of his entanglement with the Tenneva Ramblers—made his first recording as a solo act. Commercial country music, which had been born, unheralded and unnoticed, on August 1, when the Carter Family made their first recordings, came into focus at that moment. (The Tenneva Ramblers—free of their entanglement with Jimmie … Continue reading I Walk the Line
Today “the Bristol Sessions” is a portmanteau phrase in its own right, so much a given to country-music aficionados that it hardly seems necessary to ask questions such as “why were there sessions in Bristol?” or, more relevant to this discussion, “Why were the sessions in Bristol?” They didn’t have to be. In the 1910s … Continue reading Why Bristol?
Author’s Note: Today, October 30, marks the 108th birthday of the great Patsy Montana (she died in 1996). The best way to mark the occasion is, of course, to listen to her music—particularly her immortal signature tune, “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (1935). Go ahead and do so; I’ll wait here until you … Continue reading Jeeves and the Yankee Yodeler
Jimmie Rodgers was arguably the most popular singer of his era. At the time of his death in 1933, he reportedly accounted for 10% of all records sold by RCA Victor, then the world’s largest record company. His contract had, in fact, been a key asset in RCA’s acquisition of the Victor Talking Machine Company … Continue reading Broke, Hungry, Wet and Far from Home: Things Are Looking Up