Turning Our Backs on Irony Man

Like many people well into middle age, I’ve felt increasingly out of sync with the modern world in recent years.  The things I value most seem to be less appreciated in the 21st century, while the values of the new century seem foreign to me. It’s impossible to tell what posterity will make of the … Continue reading Turning Our Backs on Irony Man

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Sing Me a Sad Song

“What is it you like so much about the sad songs?” One of the things I enjoy the most about the country shows I’ve been doing for the past few years is the opportunity to talk to audience members afterward.  People come up to tell me that they’ve enjoyed the show, to take issue with … Continue reading Sing Me a Sad Song

‘The Most Important Event in the History of Country Music’

On August 6, 1927, Ralph Peer left Bristol.  By Monday, August 8, there weren’t many people who even remembered that the Bristol Sessions had happened.  Most of the musicians who had auditioned for him were already back in their everyday lives, scrambling to get by.  Peer returned to New York, Bristol went about its business … Continue reading ‘The Most Important Event in the History of Country Music’

If You’ve Got the Money: The Economics of the Bristol Sessions

The Bristol Sessions looms large in history for artistic reasons:  They launched the careers of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, whose music would define the parameters of country music for generations to come. However, the Sessions were not primarily an artistic exercise, but rather an economic one.  Ralph Peer wasn’t in Bristol looking for … Continue reading If You’ve Got the Money: The Economics of the Bristol Sessions