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

The Jimmie Rodgers Entertainers

The most important event of the August 3, 1927, Bristol Sessions happened not on the second floor of the Taylor-Christian Hat Company building, where Ralph Peer had set up his portable Victor Talking Machine Company recording studio, but rather across town at Mrs. Pierce’s boarding house. Different parties involved had different recollections of what went … Continue reading The Jimmie Rodgers Entertainers

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