I Walk the Line

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

Why Bristol?

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?

Broke, Hungry, Wet and Far from Home: Things Are Looking Up

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