This summer the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) celebrates the 90th anniversary of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings with an exciting series of panels, performances, premieres, and promotions showcasing the deep impact of the Sessions. Kicking off on July 15 with a symposium featuring Ralph Peer II, Barry Mazor, and the producers of the PBS documentary American Epic, the celebration continues through the award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival September 15—17, 2017.
“Ours is a story that isn’t often told, yet the events that happened in Bristol in 1927 revolutionized the country music industry,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of BCM. “This celebration honors the legacy of the Bristol Sessions and its lasting impact on the soundtrack of our lives. We urge everyone who loves music to explore this important history in Bristol and take part in the events during the 90th anniversary.”
Arguably the most influential country music recordings in history, the 1927 Bristol Sessions were produced by Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company and included the first recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, among others. The 1927 Bristol Sessions ushered in a new era for the commerical music industry due to their commercial success and the state-of-the-art technology used to record them.
A quick overview of the 90th anniversary offerings are below. To view a full list of activities and to purchase tickets, visit 1927BristolSessions.org.
90th Anniversary Symposium with Ralph Peer II
Saturday, July 15: 2:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m. ET
The 90th Anniversary Symposium will delve into the technology, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Following a screening of portions of the PBS documentary American Epic and discussion with producers Allison McGourty and Bernard MacMahon, esteemed music journalist and author Barry Mazor (Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music, Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America’s Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century) will explore the impact of the Bristol Sessions. Ralph Peer II, CEO of peermusic, and his wife Liz Peer will provide the keynote.
Friends of 1927 Concert
Saturday, July 29, 2017: 6:30 p.m. ET
This intimate concert experience features the respected talents of musician and Grammy Award-winnng producer Carl Jackson, Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inductee Larry Cordle, and SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year Jerry Salley. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are included.
Born in Bristol Film Premiere
Public screening dates: August 4—6, 2017
In 1927 musicians came from all over the region to make music in Bristol; they ended up making history. Don’t miss the highly-anticipated premiere of Born in Bristol, a film highlighting this history and featuring some of country music’s most respected artists, including Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Marty Stuart, Vince Gill, and many more. Public screenings will take place at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and the film is included with a museum admission ticket.
90th Anniversary Promotional Admission
Museum admission is only 90 cents July 25-30, 2017
In honor of the 90th anniversary, patrons can visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to explore the history and music of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and experience the amazing impact of those recordings with a special admission price of only 90 cents from July 25 to July 30!
Bristol Rhythm Tribute to the 90th
September 15-17, 2017
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will pay tribute to the 90th anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions with a once-in-a-lifetime special showcase featuring an array of festival artists yet to be announced. The tribute will take place on the final day of the festival. Weekend passes to Bristol Rhythm are on sale now; headlining talent at this year’s event includes Dwight Yoakam, Judah and the Lion, Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester, Son Volt, Rodney Crowell, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and many, many more. Visit BristolRhythm.comfor the complete lineup and to purchase tickets.