Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s Bristol and Beyond: The Birth of Country Music

Bethpage Public Library, January 24, 2021 “Keep on the Sunny Side” (Carter Family, 1928) Songwriters get their ideas from all over, but the best ones keep their ears open, knowing that any random phrase they hear might be the germ of a great song.  In the case of lyricist Ada Blenkhorn, she had a nephew … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s Bristol and Beyond: The Birth of Country Music

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

‘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’