BCM Museum Celebrates 5th Anniversary - The Birthplace of Country Music
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BCM Museum Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Discount Admission, American Ballads, Concerts & More in August

Bristol, Va./Tenn. (July 25, 2019) – August marks the five-year anniversary of the grand opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee! As a way of saying “thank you” for all the love and support shown these past five years, the museum will offer a special discount on admission for guests. From August 1-4, tickets to the museum will be $5 for everyone (children 5 and under are free.)

Located in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee, the museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and tells the story of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings and its vast impact on the music of today through exciting interactive exhibits, numerous film experiences, artifacts, and more. Since its doors opened, guests from all over the world have visited the museum – representing each of the 50 states in the U.S. and nearly 50 foreign countries.

Visitors may experience the new special exhibit American Ballads: The Photographs of Marty Stuart, which will take up residence at to theBirthplace of Country Music Museum starting August 1. This stunning display includes intimate, behind-the-scenes depictions of legendary musicians, images of eccentric characters from the back roads of America, and dignified portraits of members of the Lakota tribe in South Dakota – a people introduced to Stuart by his former father-in-law, Johnny Cash. 

The multi-Grammy Award-winning country music star got his start performing with Lester Flatt at the age of 13. Inspired by his mother’s photography and the work of Milt Hinton and Edward Curtis, Stuart has been documenting his life on the road in photographs for decades. The exhibit is organized by Nashville’s Frist Art Museum and is on display in the Special Exhibits Gallery at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum through January 31, 2020.

On the evening of August 1 at 6:30 p.m. EST the museum will host Wordcatching: Learn to Journal, a workshop that helps writers and enthusiasts develop the tools for memory-keeping. This Wordcatching event, guided by Carolyn Koesters, is a continuation of a previous workshop held in June.  

WBCM Radio Bristol brings back appointment programming with Farm & Fun Time, a throwback to the golden era of radio when families crowded around their consoles to enjoy live variety shows filled with music and laughter. Farm & Fun Time pays homage to the classic WCYB radio program that broadcast from Bristol in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, the show helped launch the careers of Curly King, The Stanley Brothers, and Jim & Jesse McReynolds. Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. EST Farm & Fun Time welcomes music guests The Lonesome River Band and Irene Kelley. Hosted by Kris Truelsen and his house band Bill & the Belles, Farm & Fun Time promises to be fun, entertaining, and often heartwarming – a delight for the entire family!

Tickets to be part of the studio audience at Farm and Fun Time are $30, and the show may be accessed online at ListenRadioBristol.org. The station may also be accessed through its free mobile app.

Every third Saturday of the month, musicians are invited to gather at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for an informal jam session where they can pick, collaborate, share their experiences, and – most importantly – have fun! The next Community Jam is scheduled for Saturday, August 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. All ages and all musical skill levels are invited to take part.

Readers from across the globe are invited to tune in to the new Radio Bristol Book Club, where Birthplace of Country Music Museum Head Curator Dr. Rene Rodgers and Bristol Public Library Executive Director Amy Kimani lead on-air discussion of books related to the musical and cultural heritage celebrated by the museum. They will dig deep into the feelings and questions raised by each selection, learn more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm! The program airs on the fourth Thursday of each month; on Thursday, August 22 at 11:00 a.m. EST the book club explores The Ballad of Tom Dooley by renowned Southern author Sharyn McCrumb.

On Saturday, August 24 the annual RTE 23 Music Festival returns to the campus of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, Virginia for the very best in local food, craft beer, and live music starting at 5:00 p.m. EST. There is no charge to take part in this family-friendly event. Live music is provided by The Fritz, C2 & the Brothers Reed, and 49 Winchester. Presented by BCM, RTE 23 is part of the nonprofit organization’s outreach programming. 

BCM’s elegant 1927 Society Concert Series returns Saturday, August 24 with the music of Hank, Pattie, & The Current. This series provides an intimate concert experience in the “acoustically perfect” Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Guests will also enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar; everything’s included in the ticket price. Hank, Pattie, & The Current uses traditional bluegrass instrumentation in a non-traditional way, following in the footsteps of Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Chris Thile, and Sam Bush. Tickets are $80 per person and available through the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

In addition to all the cool things happening in Historic Downtown Bristol, the Birthplace of Country Music, parent nonprofit of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and WBCM Radio Bristol, has announced a big fundraiser for the museum – and it involves giving away $250,000 in cash and prizes! 

The Bristol Sessions Super Raffle is now under way, and lucky winners could walk away with a new car or truck, an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and much, much more! To purchase a raffle ticket, see contest rules, and view all the wonderful prizes, visit BristolSessionsSuperRaffle.org. The drawing will be held September 22, 2019; you don’t have to be present to win.

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