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Birthplace of Country Music Asking for Votes
to Help Win Up to $25K Grant

25 Years of Giving Video Contest from First Tennessee Foundation

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is asking for your help to win up to $25,000 in grant funding. It’s all part of the 25 Years of Giving Video Contest from the First Tennessee Foundation.

“If we are chosen, we will use the grant for educational programming at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. BCM is the parent nonprofit of the museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. “The grant would enable us help schools with the cost of bus transportation to the museum for field trips. It would also help us with costs for Pick Along Summer Camp for kids and to provide curriculum materials for our free Teacher In-Service program.”

The top 30 videos with the most votes will advance to the next level as finalists, and 25 selected winners will receive a grant. Organizations from communities in Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia will compete for more than $80 million in grants during the 25 Years of Giving Contest.

“Once again, we are asking for help from our community,” Ross added. “They have always been so generous to us, and we are so grateful for that support. We can’t do this without them!”

Online voting begins August 15 and ends August 31, 2018. Go to www.firsttennesseefoundation.com to cast your vote. You will find BCM’s video listed under the state of Virginia. Participants are asked to log in to vote; individuals may vote once daily.

About First Tennessee Foundation

Our company established a private charitable foundation in 1993 to support nonprofit organizations in the communities we serve. We invest in a way that engages our employees, responds inclusively to needs and promotes progress and prosperity across Tennessee. Since its inception, our foundation has donated more than $80 million to meet community needs. The foundation was twice chosen as one of the most outstanding foundations by the Memphis chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives for our leadership in philanthropy and community involvement and a certificate of recognition for our outstanding work in the community from the American Bankers Association. The committee was impressed with the foundation’s initiative, creativity and dedication, especially in today’s challenging economic environment.

Birthplace of Country Music Partners with New UK Music Festival “The Long Road”

Bristol, Tenn./Va. (June 4, 2018) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is partnering with a new UK roots music festival to bring the music of our region “across the pond” just prior to BCM’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion this September. The Long Road: A Festival of Country, Americana & Roots is a major new music and lifestyle camping festival set to bring the world-famous, inimatable sights and sounds of the country music scene to the UK. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire (located two hours north of London) from September 7—9, 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana, and roots music featuring five stages of live performances, bespoke food events, and a wide range of themed outdoor activities.

Curated by Bristol, Tennessee native Baylen Leonard, a well-known country music specialist and radio presenter in the UK, The Long Road will present an array of artists from iconic US stars to up-and-coming home-grown talent.

“We first met Baylen at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion several years ago when he asked if he could conduct artist interviews for his BBC radio show during the festival,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. “He is proud of the history of his hometown and a huge supporter of our festival. He first approached us with the idea of partnering with a new country music festival in the UK over a year ago. We talked with our partners at the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and they are now partnering with us to bring a few Bristol Rhythm acts from Virginia to the UK to perform at The Long Road, including Folk Soul Revival, Dori Freeman, and Andrew Alli, and we are working with Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to show the Born in Bristol documentary film during The Long Road music festival as well.”

The first wave of acts that were announced in April included country star Lee Ann Womack, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, British country duo The Shires, popstar-turned-country music singer Una Healy, and Texas singer and winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradbery. Reflecting the extraordinary surge in popularity that country music has enjoyed in the UK in recent years, The Long Road will also feature a strong contingent of rising star UK acts across the weekend including hotly-tipped London-based duo Ferris & Sylvester and country-soul singer-songwriter Yola Carter.

Much more than just a music festival, The Long Road will embrace all aspects of the country and Americana scene and, alongside its live music offerings, will incorporate an array of themed activities including moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriters’ rounds, lake swimming, a Southern-inspired food and shopping village, and much more, providing festival-goers with a unique, authentic country music lifestyle experience.

For more information about The Long Road and to view the entire lineup, please visit www.thelongroad.com.

About the Birthplace of Country Music

Located in Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is the parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. It is the mission of BCM to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich music heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which BCM derives its name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for BCM’s local and regional communities. BCM accomplishes this mission through each of its primary branches (museum, festival, and radio station), special projects and events, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

Birthplace of Country Music Partners with New UK Music Festival “The Long Road”

Bristol, VA-TN (May 22, 2018) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is partnering with a new UK roots music festival to bring the music of our region “across the pond” just prior to BCM’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion this September. The Long Road: A Festival of Country, Americana & Roots is a major new music and lifestyle camping festival set to bring the world-famous, inimatable sights and sounds of the country music scene to the UK. Taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire (located two hours north of London) from September 7—9, 2018, The Long Road will present one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana, and roots music featuring four stages of live performances, bespoke food events, and a wide range of themed outdoor activities.

Curated by Bristol, Tennessee native Baylen Leonard, a well-known country music specialist and radio presenter in the UK, The Long Road will present an array of artists from iconic US stars to up-and-coming home-grown talent.

“We first met Baylen at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion several years ago when he asked if he could conduct artist interviews for his BBC radio show during the festival,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. “He is proud of the history of his hometown and a huge supporter of our festival. He first approached us with the idea of partnering with a new country festival in the UK over a year ago. Now the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is helping us bring a few Bristol Rhythm acts from Virginia over to the UK to perform at The Long Road including Folk Soul Revival, Dori Freeman, and Andrew Alli. We are working with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to show the Born in Bristol documentary film during The Long Road as well.”

The first wave of acts that were announced last month include country star Lee Ann Womack, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, British country duo The Shires, popstar-turned-country music singer Una Healy, and Texas singer and winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradbery. Reflecting the extraordinary surge in popularity that country music has enjoyed in the UK in recent years, The Long Road will also feature a strong contingent of rising star UK acts across the weekend including hotly-tipped London-based duo Ferris & Sylvester and country-soul singer-songwriter Yola Carter.

Much more than just a music festival, The Long Road will embrace all aspects of the country and Americana scene and, alongside its live music offerings, will incorporate an array of themed activities including moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriters’ rounds, lake swimming, a Southern-inspired food and shopping village, and much more, providing festival-goers with a unique, authentic country music lifestyle experience.

For more information about The Long Road and to view the entire lineup, please visit www.thelongroad.com.

About the Birthplace of Country Music

Located in Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is the parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. It is the mission of BCM to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich music heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which BCM derives its name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for BCM’s local and regional communities. BCM accomplishes this mission through each of its primary branches (museum, festival, and radio station), special projects and events, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

Birthplace of Country Music Announces Departure of Museum Director and Appointment of Head Curator

Jessica Turner
Dr. Jessica Turner

Bristol, Tenn./VA – (December 11, 2017) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) announces the resignation of Museum Director & Head Curator, Dr. Jessica Turner to accept a new position as Executive Director of the American Folklore Society.

“On behalf of BCM, we regretfully announce the resignation of Dr. Jessica Turner as the Museum Director & Head Curator of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “Dr. Turner has been involved with the organization since 2011, and has officially served as Museum Director & Head Curator since 2013. She was instrumental in designing and curating the museum before it opened in August of 2014. BCM is very fortunate that Jessica was available to come on board to curate the museum’s content and help recruit an outstanding team of people, both staff and volunteers. Jessica will be missed, but we sincerely wish her well in her new position.”

Turner has accepted the position as Executive Director of the American Folklore Society (AFS), which is a US-based professional association that exists to further the discipline of folklore studies. As executive director, Turner will develop and carry out AFS initiatives and projects, raise funds, and serve as the organization’s representative to several national and international associations.

“I am proud to have worked with such a passionate and visionary group of staff, board, and volunteers as we designed and built the museum and developed its programs, and as we serve as an advocate for the arts in our region,” said Turner. “It’s a role that I will always cherish and will truly miss, and I will remain a strong supporter of BCM’s work and this community.”

Dr. Rene Rodgers

The major portion of Turner’s responsibilities will be transferred to Dr. Rene Rodgers who has been named Head Curator of the museum. Dr. Rodgers joined BCM in 2012, in a part-time role, as a member of the content team working on the exhibit script and design for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Once the museum opened in 2014, Rodgers joined the BCM team full time as the Curator of Exhibits & Publications and has overseen the special exhibits at the museum.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Rene’s caliber on our staff,” said Ross. “Rene is fully knowledgeable regarding the curatorial aspects of our museum as well as its staff and volunteers. I look forward to working with her going forward as we move towards fulfilling our mission and improving our museum and its related programs.”

 

About the Birthplace of Country Music
The Birthplace of Country Music is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich musical heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which we derive our name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for our local and regional communities.

BCM accomplishes this mission through its three primary branches (Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Radio Bristol), special projects and events, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

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Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Savings Events

Enjoy Special Savings This Weekend

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Pre-sale Weekend Passes to the 18th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival go on sale Friday, November 24, 2017 exclusively on this website and at The Museum Store at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for a limited time!

Buy weekend wristbands between Friday, November 24 – Monday, November 26 for $65.

Price increases on Tuesday, November 27.

**NOTE: All online orders must be made by December 15, 2017 in order to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

 Click Here to Buy Tickets

 

The Museum Store

Celebrate Black Friday, Small Small Business Saturday & Museum Store Sunday

Support local vendors, artists, restaurants, and more in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee, the birthplace of country music! Receive 20% off your entire purchase at The Museum Store (exclusions apply).

Discount available in store only.

Click Here to View Newspaper Insert

 

 

 Cyber Monday

Shop The Museum Store online and get FREE shipping!

Click Here to Shop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RTE. 23 Brings Halloween Bash to Wise Oct. 28

CIRCUS NO. 9 AND COSTUME CONTEST!

Presented by the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM), the RTE. 23 Music Festival will bring out the haints and hollers for a big Halloween Bash on October 28 at The Inn at Wise in Wise, Virginia!

East Tennessee’s own Circus No. 9, one of our region’s finest progressive acoustic acts, is slated to perform at the event. A costume contest will be part of the night’s festivities. Prizes will be awarded for best costume!

“This is our first Halloween-themed event,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of BCM, the parent organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. “Our music committee team members who reside in Wise created the RTE. 23 Music Festival as part of our outreach to that community. They continue to take it a step further with a Listening Room concert series and the Halloween Bash. They’re building a nice music scene up there in Wise!”

Fresh from stellar performances at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Circus No. 9 showcased at this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association Conference and has performed alongside David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel, and more.

With influences of bluegrass, jazz, and rock, individual band members of Circus No. 9 are award-winning musicians. Matthew Davis is a 2016 National Banjo Champion and a 2017 Rockygrass Banjo Champion. Thomas Cassell is a 2016 Rockygrass Mandolin Champion. Combined with the talents of guitarists Vince Ilagan and Jed Clark, Circus No. 9 is taking the new acoustic scene by force in venues across the United States.

Advance tickets to the RTE. 23 Halloween Bash are $10 in advance and $15 day of show. For more information click here.

BUY TICKETS

Bristol Rhythm Achieves 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award

From a pool of over 350 nominees, the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), the state arts agency, has selected the Birthplace of Country Music’s (BCM) Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival to receive one of its prestigious “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” in the category of Exemplary Programs & Pinnacle Events!

The “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” were conceived and designed by the Commission as a 50th anniversary tribute to 50 examples of programs, individuals, and organizations critical to the arts in Virginia. The designated “Arts Inspirations” may have played a critical role in the last 50 years, or they may serve as today’s leaders and exemplars or be tomorrow’s visionaries, leading the way to a culturally vibrant future. The Commission was established by law in 1968 to promote awareness of and access to the arts across the state and to support a broad range of artists, arts organizations, and arts educators.

Following a statewide call for nominations, nominees for the awards in all categories were accepted for two months this spring. A panel comprised of former commissioners and arts leaders reviewed the nominations this past summer and recommended a slate to the full Board, which adopted the final roster this fall. To ensure impartiality, no former commissioners and no state-elected officials were selected for the roster.

“We are indeed fortunate in Virginia to have an abundant and diverse roster of outstanding artists and organizations and their supporters spanning disciplines and decades,” said Margaret Vanderhye, the Commission’s executive director. “The 50 selected winners are representative of the best, but this list is far from definitive. Every day in communities across the Commonwealth, thousands of people benefit from the creative energies and pursuit of excellence that characterize Virginia artists and arts organizations.”

VCA Commissioner and 50th Anniversary Co-Chair Jo Hodgin (Annandale) stated: “These awardees carry the banner for countless arts workers and supporters who use the arts to build a strong Virginia. We believe the arts are essential for a creative 21st-century workforce, economically dynamic communities, and a culture based on wellness and accessibility.”

“The Birthplace of Country Music is honored to have achieved this recognition for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion from the Virginia Commission for the Arts,” said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. “Art and culture is essential to achieving a vibrant community. Business owners want to locate in communities that not only offer good education, infrastructure, and a strong and diverse workforce, they also want a good quality of life for their employees. Communities that offer a wide range of arts and culture to its citizens cultivate a good quality of life for their residents. The arts help provide an identity that is very specific to a region. This is valuable for tourism. The state of Virginia and the Virginia Commission of the Arts recognize this and offer valuable support to communities. There has never been a more important time to support the arts than right now. We are so grateful to VCA for their amazing work and for everything they continue to do for Bristol.”

Award recipients were honored on Tuesday, along with other state arts leaders and supporters, at a special reception at the Executive Mansion with Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe during a special Celebration of the Arts.

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 1:00-5:00 p.m., the Commission will hold a 50th Anniversary Program for arts organizations across the state at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. That afternoon the 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration award recipients, including the Birthplace of Country Music, will be officially recognized for their achievements. A reception will follow in the Marble Hall.

Commission Chair Shelley Kruger Weisberg (Williamsburg) commented: “The entire Commission applauds the ’50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award’ recipients whose work is representative of the transformative power of the arts in our Commonwealth. The impressive array of arts leaders, arts organizations, pinnacle events, and artists are a testament to the extraordinary diversity and vitality of the arts in every corner of the state.”

Each of the five nomination categories represents a different element of the arts in time and focus. For the Exemplary Programs and Pinnacle Events category awarded to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, the criteria for winners was for programs and events from the past 50 years that have demonstrated artistic excellence, celebrated diversity, offered outreach to underserved populations, and engaged community partners, along with having a visionary or innovative approach to their program or event.

Other categories included Bedrock Institutions, Emerging Artists and Organizations, Arts Leaders and Supporters, and Outstanding Artists.

Bluegrass 45 to Perform at BCM Museum October 2

The Birthplace of Country Music is proud to present the international musicianship of Bluegrass 45 at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum on Monday, October 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. More than a band, these six friends from Kobe, Japan have shared 50 years of friendship, musicianship, and a passion for music that has promoted and championed bluegrass as a culture, genre, and lifestyle all over the world. This is a rare opportunity to see the group in an intimate concert performance.

“Hosting Bluegrass 45 in Bristol at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is a historic occasion,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of the museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. “The band will be shooting a documentary film while they are here. They also plan to pay a visit to East Tennessee State University’s Department of Old Time and Country Music Studies. It’s important to note that the music of our region continues to influence artists around the world. In Japan there is a lot of interest in our culture and in traditional bluegrass. We often see visitors from Japan in the museum due to that influence.”

During the late 1800s, music of other countries was celebrated in Japan. Folk songs and dances from around the world were taught to school children and an interest in arts around the globe flourished. But this was before World Wars I and II. This was before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was before the second Sino Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre. The bomb blasts and violence of war resulted in a great cultural silence.

The members of Bluegrass 45 were born into this silence.

Their world was cut off from the imports available to musicians in other countries. Until adopting a more liberal constitution in 1948, American music was illegal in Japan. Despite this fact, Josh and Akira Otsuka grew up in a home with a few American LPs. Like the lyrics from “Red River Valley,” one of the first American songs the brothers heard, the war’s prohibition of many imports, including records from other countries, took “away all the sunshine” that had brightened the musical lives of many pre-war Japanese.

Two main factors changed Japanese music in the 1950s: the influx of American G.I.s into the port city of Kobe and the Armed Forces Radio Network. Soldiers from all over the U.S., some who played traditional music, occupied Japan all the way through the 1950s and 1960s. Access to American pop music opened up a window into popular culture that had previously been closed.

The members of Bluegrass 45 took the music they could now access and became devoted students. This devotion led them to the United States. Their first experiences were with bluegrass festivals and that eventually led to sharing the stage with bluegrass and country names from Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, and Dr. Ralph Stanley, to Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, and Roger Miller.

Upon their return to Japan, the members of the band were committed to spreading the message of bluegrass to their own country. Collectively, they are responsible for starting a bluegrass record label, print publication, festival, multiple college bluegrass clubs, and a business employing many musicians and enabling them to tour. The band has not only been playing bluegrass for nearly half a century, but its members are largely responsible for the primary documentation and development of Japanese bluegrass as a whole. A modern embodiment of the much valued sense of Japanese responsibility, each member of Bluegrass 45 has made it his life’s work to pass on a love for bluegrass to future generations of Japanese people in the same way bluegrass songs are passed down through generations of American musicians.

Tickets to see Bluegrass 45 at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum are $20 per person. Doors to the show will open at 6:30 p.m.

PURCHASE TICKETS

BCM Hosts Bristol Rhythm and More In September

The Birthplace of Country Music Hosts Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Concerts, Workshops, Films, & Museum Day Live! in September

September is definitely the month to plan a visit to Bristol, the Birthplace of Country Music, as the calendar is packed with concerts, songwriting workshops, two film screenings, and the award-winning 17th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. In addition, patrons will also get to experience free activities and admission to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum during the 13th annual Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live!

“September is always an exciting time to be in Bristol,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Radio Bristol. “This year will mark the 17th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and we are so proud to host this incredible lineup of headliners and rising talent here in Bristol. In addition, there are a series of ‘must-see’ events at the museum this month. If you are thinking about a visit to the Birthplace of Country Music, this is the month to make the journey to Bristol, where you can dance in two states at once!”

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
September 15–17

This September 15–17 more than 130 acts will perform across 20 stages around State Street in Historic Downtown, Bristol, TN/VA during the 17th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival. A customizable schedule of performing artists can be viewed online at BristolRhythm.com. Throughout the three-day event, you’ll experience performances from the following acts: Dwight Yoakam, Judah & the Lion, Jerry Douglas Presents The Earls of Leicester, Son Volt, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Deer Tick, Will Hoge, The Infamous Stringdusters, Chris Knight, Lonesome River Band, The Dustbowl Revival, Mandolin Orange, Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys, Mark O’Connor ft. the O’Connor Band, Amanda Shires, The SteelDrivers, Folk Soul Revival, Amythyst Kiah, and many others.

Attendees will also be presented with a 90th Anniversary Celebration performance honoring the 1927 Bristol Sessions on Sunday, September 17. Screenings of Born In Bristol, the docudrama that starring Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and more, will be held at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum during the festival. The film tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and its vast influence on the soundtrack of today. Considered the most influential country music recordings in history, the 1927 Bristol Sessions are listed among the 50 most significant sound recording events of all time by the Library of Congress.

In addition, Radio Bristol will host its Farm and Fun Time live variety show with house band Bill and the Belles and special guests The Earls of Leicester and The Cactus Blossoms. Three-day festival passes are currently $100 with day passes starting at $40. Visit BristolRhythm.com to purchase tickets.

Friends of 1927 Concert featuring Mike Farris 
September 7 at 7:30 PM ET 
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA 

The September Friends of 1927 Concert Series features the Grammy Award-winning artist Mike Farris. In 2015, Farris became the first artist to receive a Grammy Award for “Best Roots Gospel Album” for his release Shine for All the People. Known as a powerhouse vocalist with blue-eyed soul, he has also earned Americana Music Awards and Dove Awards. This Friends of 1927 Concert is a unique concert experience where fans have the opportunity to interact with the artists in a relaxed setting over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, all included in the ticket price. Visit the BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org events page to purchase tickets.

Songs Come Apart: A Workshop with Ed Snodderly 
September 9, 10 AM—2 PM ET Birthplace of Country Music Museum 
520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA
During the Songs Come Apart workshop, renowned songwriter Ed Snodderly will pull apart one of his songs to delve deep into the songwriting craft – looking at the ways lyrics come together, the harmony of the words used, and the way a song changes from inception to final cut. To really get the full benefit of the workshop, participants are encouraged (but not required) to bring their own works in progress, giving you the opportunity to take apart your song and put it back together with Snodderly’s guidance. Places are limited to 16 people. To purchase a ticket, visit BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

Film Screening: May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers 
September 12 at 7 PM ET 
Marquee Cinemas – Pinnacle 12 
680 Pinnacle Parkway, Bristol, TN
From longtime fans Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio and filmed with extraordinary access over the course of more than two years, May It Last is an intimate portrait of the acclaimed North Carolina band The Avett Brothers. The film charts their decade-and-a-half rise while chronicling their present-day collaboration with famed producer Rick Rubin on the multi-Grammy-nominated album True Sadness, which was released on American Recordings/Republic Records. With the recording process as a backdrop, the film depicts a lifelong bond and unique creative partnership, as band members undergo marriage, divorce, parenthood, illness, and the challenges of the music business. To purchase tickets,visit BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

Museum Day Live! featuring a Screening of American Experience: Tesla 
September 23, 10 AM—6 pm ET 
Screening at 1 PM ET 
520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 23 as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 13th annual Museum Day Live! Participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket. To download free tickets visit http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-live-2017/tickets/.

The PBS documentary American Experience: Tesla takes a look at Nikola Tesla who came to be seen by many as a tragic figure. This visionary engineer died impoverished and largely forgotten, eclipsed by names such as Edison and Marconi. A tireless inventor who registered numerous patents and developed many working prototypes, Tesla would become most famous for dazzling demonstrations of his innovation and creativity. His technology helped drive the electrical age in the 20th century, and his vision imagined the wireless world of today. American Experience: Tesla chronicles the life of a man whose ideas revolutionized his time, and ours. This free film screening is companion programming for the current special exhibit “Things Come Apart.” Reserve your seats by visiting BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

“Things Come Apart” Special Exhibit 
Now through October 8, 2017 
Birthplace of Country Music Museum 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA
Through extraordinary photographs, disassembled objects and fascinating videos, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s “Things Come Apart” exhibit reveals the inner workings of common, everyday possessions. Images of dozens of objects explore how things are designed and made and how technology has evolved over time.

“Things Come Apart” embraces key STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) concepts and provides an ideal environment for hands-on experimentation, tinkering, and creative makerspaces. Through support from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the exhibition includes three hands-on Activity Kits created by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation’s SparkLab.

“Things Come Apart” is an exhibition organized by Todd McLellan and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

More information on these events and the Birthplace of Country Music can be found below.

Event Details Links 
September 7 – Friends of 1927 Concert Series: Mike Farris 
September 9 – Songs Come Apart: A Workshop with Ed Snodderly 
September 12 – May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers 
September 15–17 – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 
September 23 – Museum Day Live! featuring a screening of American Experience: Tesla

BCM Packs Films, Free Events, And Farm & Fun Time Into August Schedule

The 90th anniversary celebration of the 1927 Bristol Sessions continues throughout August as the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) presents a variety of events for all ages including two film screenings, a free Family Fun Day at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time live broadcast featuring celebrated performers Town Mountain and Jonathan Byrd. The home of the “Big Bang of Country Music” is definitely a can’t-miss stop on your next vacation.

“We are so excited to share the Born in Bristol film with everyone,” says BCM Executive Director Leah Ross. “So many locals participated in the filming of this docudrama, and I know they can’t wait to see the final edit. We are also hosting a second film screening this month as part of the Smithsonian’s Things Come Aparttraveling exhibit that just opened. Plus, we have a free Family Fun Day at the museum filled with activities families can enjoy together. Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time show is also a special treat. We urge everyone to experience this live radio broadcast as an audience member— if you can’t be there in person you can listen in online or through our free mobile app!”

All activities listed below take place at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, located in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia, at 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way.

Born in Bristol Screenings
August 4 – 6, 2017

Featuring Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, among others, Born in Bristol is a docudrama that explores the impact of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and its lasting influence through artist interviews and visual recreations.

Born in Bristol is a companion piece to the 2015 CD release Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, a reimagining of the historic 1927 Bristol Sessions by some of the biggest names in the music industry, many of whom appear in the film. Orthophonic Joy was produced by multi-Grammy Award-winner Carl Jackson and features a historical narrative by Eddie Stubbs, the voice of the Grand Ole Opry.

Filmed on location in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia and Nashville, Born in Bristol was produced by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development with support from the Virginia Tourism Corporation and directed by Sundance Award-winner Chusy Haney-Jardine of Plan A Films. Born in Bristol received shortlist consideration at the 2016 Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

VIEW BORN IN BRISTOL TRAILER

Farm and Fun Time
August 10, 2017 at 7 PM ET

Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time hosts Town Mountain and Jonathan Byrd on Thursday, August 10, 2017 in the Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Town Mountain captured the 2013 IBMA Momentum Awards for Performance Band and Vocalist of the Year (Robert Greer). They are currently on the road promoting their album Southern Crescent produced by the Grammy Award-winning Dirk Powell of Cypress House Studios. Jonathan Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who was recently applauded by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.”

Farm and Fun Time hearkens back to the days of classic live radio and features today’s top traditional country, bluegrass, and old-time artists. Hosted by Kris Truelsen and featuring house band Bill and the Belles, Farm and Fun Time is a celebration of Appalachian music and culture with various segments, live jingles, and featured artists.

Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time is recorded before a live audience and is broadcast live and via webcast. Radio Bristol can be accessed on 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at ListenRadioBristol.org, and through the station’s free mobile app.

Free Family Fun Day 
August 26, 2017 from 11 AM – 3 PM ET

Explore maker activities and crafts, including a 3D printer demo presented by the Bristol Public Library, a demo of making art from “found” objects by local artisan Terry Clark, recycling crafts from the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Green Team, and more! This event is free and open to the public, and includes free admission to Things Come Apart, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 Film Screening 
August 31, 2017 at 6 PM ET

The screening of the PBS documentary Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 is companion programming designed to complement Things Come Apart, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Things Come Apart Special Exhibit 
Now through October 8, 2017

Through extraordinary photographs, disassembled objects and fascinating videos, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s Things Come Apart exhibit reveals the inner workings of common, everyday possessions. Images of dozens of objects explore how things are designed and made and how technology has evolved over time.

Things Come Apart embraces key STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) concepts and provides an ideal environment for hands-on experimentation, tinkering, and creative makerspaces. Through support from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the exhibition includes three hands-on Activity Kits created by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation’s SparkLab.

Things Come Apart is an exhibition organized by Todd McLellan and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

More information on these events and the Birthplace of Country Music can be found below.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
September 15 – 17, 2017

The award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion isn’t just a music festival. It’s an infectious, three-day music experience along State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia with 20 stages and featuring more than 130 of the best roots music acts performing today. The 17th annual event features headliners Dwight Yoakam, Judah & The Lion, Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester, Son Volt, Rodney Crowell, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Deer Tick, The Infamous Stringdusters, Mark O’Connor ft. the O’Connor Band, The SteelDrivers, Langhorne Slim, Mandolin Orange, and more.

Bristol Rhythm is an annual celebration of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and the roots and branches of Bristol’s rich Appalachian music legacy. In celebration of the 90th anniversary of those legendary recordings, the festival will host a very special tribute performance on the final day of the festival with a number of musicians gathering on one stage for a once-in-a-lifetime performance honoring the “Big Bang” of country music.

Visit BristolRhythm.com for ticket and more festival information.

Event Details Links

August 4-6 – Born in Bristol Screenings 
August 10 – Radio Bristol Presents: Farm and Fun Time ft. Town Mountain and Jonathan Byrd 
August 26 – Free Family Fun Day 
August 31 – Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 Screening 
September 15 – 17 – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

About Birthplace of Country Music, Inc.
The Birthplace of Country Music, Inc. was established to honor the famed 1927 Bristol Sessions that were immortalized when Ralph Peer – a record executive from Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey – traveled to Bristol, the twin cities that straddle the Tennessee and Virginia border. Setting up a portable recording studio in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company building, Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 different acts, including The Carter Family, known as “The First Family of Country Music,” Jimmie Rodgers, known as “The Father of Country Music,” and Ernest “Pop” Stoneman. These recordings are revered as the keystone sessions of country music. In 1998 Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia was recognized as the official birthplace of country music by the U.S. Congress; the 1927 Bristol Sessions were also recognized by the Library of Congress as one of the 50 most significant sound recording events of all time.

In 2001, the award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion began taking place in Historic Downtown Bristol. The annual three-day music festival showcases the very best in roots music – including Americana, folk-rock, bluegrass, old time, and Piedmont blues. Approximately 50,000 music enthusiasts gather for the event to see more than 130 acts perform on 20 stages each September.

In 2014, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, opened its doors in Bristol’s downtown, a must-see stop on the Americana Music Triangle. The Museum tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, explores how evolving sound technology shaped their success, and highlights how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music. Through multiple theater experiences, interactive displays, and text and artifacts, along with a variety of educational programs, music performances, and community events, the exciting story of these recording sessions and their far-reaching influence comes alive.

In 2015, BCM began broadcasting Radio Bristol live from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Radio Bristol features a low power FM broadcast in the Bristol area, three audio channels streaming different but related genres of music, and one channel streaming video. The streaming stations can be accessed online or by using the free Radio Bristol app on mobile devices.