The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance will present a day-long scholarly presentation about the significance of the 1927 Bristol Sessions by leading experts, followed by an evening concert which will feature performers related to those who recorded in the original sessions or those whose style is similar in nature.
The 1927 Bristol Sessions, considered by music historians to be "the Big Bang of Country Music," captured a wide cross section of the musical traditions prevalent in the rural mountains of Appalachia, including the first recordings of country music's first superstars - the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.
The all-day discussion of the historical significance of the Bristol Sessions will feature contributors to the forthcoming book "Bristol Sessions: Writings about the Big Bang of Country Music," edited by Ted Olson and Charles Wolfe, published by McFarland Press. The format for the discussion will include presentations by leading scholars that will incorporate audio and visual materials to explore the lives of the various Bristol Sessions participants before they arrived at the Sessions, the experiences of those participating during their time in Bristol, as well as the lingering influence of the Bristol Sessions on the participants' subsequent lives and music careers.
Janette Carter is among the scheduled performers for the evening concert. The discussion will be followed by an evening concert featuring performances similar to those recorded seventy-six years ago. Roy Harper, whose style is similar to the performances recorded in 1927, will headline the concert. Harper is a former winner of the Old-Time singing competition at Uncle Dave Macon Days and a 2003 recipient of the Tennessee Governor's Award in the Arts. The concert will also feature performances by Janette Carter, daughter of A.P. and Sara Carter; descendants of the Roane County Ramblers, who recorded in the 1920s, John Lilly, Ted Olson, and Katie Doman.
The conference and concert will take place on April 30th at Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, Bristol Convention Center, Interstate 81, Exit 7, Bristol, VA. Conference registration, including lunch, is $10 in before April 15) and $15 after April 15. Tickets for the concert are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. For more information, call 276-645-0035.
This event is funded by grants from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Additional sponsors include Holiday Inn, Bryant Label, ETSU Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, and two local radio stations: WGOC and WETS.
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