‘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’

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

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

2 States, 12 Days and 90 Years: It’s Time for a Party

I spent a chunk of last summer toying with the idea of staging a country-music festival this summer to mark the 90th anniversary of the Bristol Sessions, aka the Big Bang of Country Music.  Sadly, Country 90 NYC (as it was provisionally called) didn’t come together; we’ll just have to wait for 2027 and Country … Continue reading 2 States, 12 Days and 90 Years: It’s Time for a Party