‘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’

Six Songs, Plus Three More

If you listen to the recordings from the Bristol Sessions (and you should—the Bear Family collection, The Bristol Sessions: 1927-1928 is the definitive version, despite some unfortunate errors in its accompanying hardcover liner notes, but the Country Music Hall of Fame release The Bristol Sessions is also excellent) … if you listen to the recordings … Continue reading Six Songs, Plus Three More

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