The Bristol Sessions (Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies Series, #12)

The Bristol Sessions (Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies Series, #12)

by Charles K. Wolfe
     
 

ISBN-10: 0786419458

ISBN-13: 9780786419456

Pub. Date: 04/20/2005

Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers

In the summer of 1927, nineteen bands gathered for a recording session in Bristol, on the Tennessee-Virginia border, including some of the most influential names in American music—the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman and more. Organized by Ralph Peer for Victor records to capitalize on the popularity of "hillbilly" music, the Bristol sessions

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Overview

In the summer of 1927, nineteen bands gathered for a recording session in Bristol, on the Tennessee-Virginia border, including some of the most influential names in American music—the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman and more. Organized by Ralph Peer for Victor records to capitalize on the popularity of "hillbilly" music, the Bristol sessions were a key moment in country music's evolution. The musicians played a variety of styles largely endemic to the Appalachian region. Rather than attempting to record purely traditional sounds, however, Peer sought a combination of musical elements, an amalgam that would form the backbone of modern country music. The reverberations of the Bristol sessions are still felt today, yet their influence is widely misunderstood, and popular accounts of the event are more legend than history.

These 19 essays offer an examination and reevaluation of the Bristol sessions—from their germination, to the actual sessions, to their place in history and their continuing influence. The first section discusses technological advances that resulted in the unmatched quality of the Bristol recordings. The second section chronicles the people and musical acts involved in the event. The third section gives first-hand accounts of the Bristol sessions, while the fourth presents musicological studies of two of the prominent acts. The final section details subsequent recording sessions in Bristol and nearby Johnson City, and explores the lasting local musical legacy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786419456
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
04/20/2005
Series:
Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies, #12
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
306
Sales rank:
887,783
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1Early sound recording technology and the Bristol sessions7
2The legend that Peer built : reappraising the Bristol sessions17
3The Bristol sessions : the cast of characters40
4Jimmie Rodgers and the Bristol sessions54
5Something old, something new : the Carter family's Bristol sessions recordings66
6The Blackard-Shelor story : biography of a hillbilly string band87
7Gospel according to Bristol : the life, music and ministry of Ernest Phipps95
8The life of Alfred G. Karnes119
9The life of Blind Alfred Reed125
10The West Virginia Coon Hunters : on the trail of a lost mountain state string band130
11Discovery of the first hillbilly great137
12My husband, Jimmie Rodgers142
13Before the myth was born : Claude Grant of the Tenneva Ramblers remembers Jimmie Rodgers161
14I remember Daddy172
15My memories of the Bristol sessions183
16Ernest Stoneman's 1927 session : hillbilly recordings of gospel hymns187
17On the vanguard of change : Jimmie Rodgers and Alfred G. Karnes in Bristol, 1927214
18The rest of the story : other early recording sessions in the tri-cities area235
19The birthplace of country music, 75 years later : the cradle still rocks257

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