Special Projects Archives - Page 2 of 3 - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Grammy Award-Winning Artist Mike Farris at BCM Museum Sept. 7

The Birthplace of Country Music is proud to present the return of Grammy Award-winning artist and powerhouse vocalist Mike Farris to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for an intimate Friends of 1927 Concert experience on September 7.

“Mike Farris is an unforgettable performer,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “This is the second Friends of 1927 Concert he will have done, and the last sold out. I urge everyone interested in attending to order their tickets. There’s nothing like seeing him in an intimate setting.”

Among the greatest voices of our time, Mike Farris was the first artist to receive a Grammy Award for Best Roots Gospel Album for his release Shine for All the People in 2015. Mike’s spirited, soul-gospel fusion and goosebump-inducing live performances are evocative, spiritual, and thoroughly entertaining. Among his accomplishments, Farris achieved an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist in 2008, followed by a Dove Award in 2010. His live performances at Bonnarro, SXSW, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion drew rave reviews. Revered artists like Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Marty Stuart have been struck by his incomparable voice. He was also among those invited to honor Aretha Franklin at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 16th Annual American Music Masters Concert, a true testament to his immense gifts.

Friends of 1927 Concerts are intimate performances where fans have the opportunity to interact with artists in a relaxed setting. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are included in the ticket price. Concert doors open for cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now to the public for $80 per person, Bristol, Virginia admission tax and fees included.


BCM Celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions

90th Anniversary of the Bristol SessionsThis 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.

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!

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.com for the complete lineup and to purchase tickets.


BCM Marketers Achieve TMP Certification

Kim Davis and Charlene Tipton Baker

Congratulations to BCM Marketing Director Kim Davis and Charlene Tipton Baker, our Marketing Specialist in Communications, on achieving their Tourism Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) upon graduation from STS Marketing College.

STS is dedicated to improving the economic vitality of the Southeast by uniting all segments of the travel and tourism industry, promoting tourism within their member states, fostering cooperation, sharing resources, and providing continuing education.

For one week each year, STS Marketing College hosts tourism professionals at the University of North Georgia where students participate in a curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry. STS Marketing College is a 3-year program.

Nominate Bristol to Receive Park Grant with #Parkies

April is Earth Month and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney/ABC Television Group, and ESPN, to revitalize parks across the U.S. for a third year. The city that receives the most nominations will receive a $20,000 grant to improve a local park.

Local parks make Bristol a better place to live and are essential to our city’s health and wellbeing. They provide safe places to be active and enjoy nature; they also help preserve the environment and bring people together. That is why from April 1 to April 30 Bristol, Tennessee residents will have the opportunity to nominate our city to receive $20,000 in grant funding to make improvements at a local park.

By visiting NRPA.org/BeInspired, park supporters can nominate our city. At the end of April, the city with the most nominations will receive the grant funding. New this year, everyone who nominates a city will be entered into a drawing for a tablet outfitted for the outdoors.

“We are so eager to get the word out that Bristol is in the running for this grant. We have so many people who visit our parks each year and feel so strongly about them that I believe they will actively participate in the program,” said Terry Napier, Director of Parks and Recreation for Bristol, Tennessee.

NRPA Director of Conservation, Lori Robertson said, “Supporting local parks is essential to the health and vitality of communities everywhere. That’s why we are proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help fund critical park improvement projects for communities in need. We encourage everyone to join us in giving back to the places that shape so much of our lives by voting in this year’s Meet Me at the Park campaign.”

This Earth Month, Bristol can show what parks mean to our community by nominating our great city. Encourage your friends and family to nominate our city by taking a selfie in your favorite park and using the hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies, and #BeInspired on social posts.

For more information, and to nominate your city, visit NRPA.org/BeInspired

Support What You Care About With GIFT-A-TAG


Now you can buy a GIFT-A-TAG voucher for the purchase of any of Tennessee’s Specialty License Plates. There are over 100 to choose from! Vouchers are $35 and you can purchase as many as you want.

Tennessee Specialty License Plates support over 100 different organizations and charities including colleges and universities, branches of the military, nonprofits, and other topics.

Each GIFT-A-TAG is good for the purchase of a Specialty License Plate, the renewal of a Specialty License Plate or the personalization of any license plate.

Visit www.tngiftcenter.com/giftatag/ to browse the selections and learn more.



AAME Speaker Series “Banjo Romantika” at the Museum


The Arts Alliance Mountain Empire has partnered with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the William King Museum of Art to present its 2016-2017 Speaker Series. Five speakers will present six talks around the common theme: “Art in Appalachia, Appalachia in the World.” A number of events will be held over the course of the series including a film screening of “Banjo Romantika: American Bluegrass Music & The Czech Imagination” at the museum on Tuesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Filmmaker and ETSU professor Shara Lange will lead the discussion of the documentary “Banjo Romantika” which broadcast on PBS across 40 states in the country. Czechs first heard bluegrass during World War II when the Armed Forces Network broadcast American music for soldiers. The music represented freedom to dissatisfied Czechs living in a communist state. Inspired by classic American bluegrass sounds, an assortment of musicians from across the formerly communist Czech Republic have melded the past, the political, and the present into lively musical tradition entirely its own.

Click here to view the entire listing of AAME’s Speaker Series events.

BCM Hires Brett Davis, New Operations & Logistics Manager


The Birthplace of Country Music is excited to announce that Bristol, Virginia native Brett Davis will be joining the nonprofit organization as its new Operations & Logistics Manager. With more than a decade of professional experience in the outdoor industry, Davis brings a variety of valuable skills to the position including his experience with the organization as a volunteer for the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival; he has served on the Logistics Committee since 2007. Brett is excited to return to his hometown with his wife and young son after working and living for several years in Blacksburg, Virginia where he served as General Manager of Back Country Ski and Sport, Inc. A dedicated advocate of Bristol’s vast music heritage, Davis enjoys spending time with his family, supporting live music, and bicycling in his spare time.

Support BCM By Shopping AmazonSmile


For every gift you purchase through AmazonSmile, AmazonSmile gives back to the nonprofit organzation of your choice. This holiday season, we hope you’ll consider setting up your AmazonSmile account to donate to the Birthplace of Country Music every time you make a purchase.

Log on to https://smile.amazon.com/, select the Birthplace of Country Music as your charity, then shop as you normally would. There is no added cost to your purchases and it helps BCM with funding for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. Your support is greatly appreciated!

BCM Top 25 Finalist for $25K Levitt AMP Grant


Thank you to everyone who registered and cast a vote in support of the Birthplace of Country Music for the Levitt AMP Grant Awards. The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards is a matching grant program made possible by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national private foundation dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of America through the power of free, live music. Grantees receive $25,000 in matching funds to present a minimum of 10 free outdoor concerts presented over 10 to 12 consecutive weeks during 2017. If the Birthplace of Country Music is the chosen winner, BCM and Believe in Bristol will use the funds to expand Border Bash, Bristol’s premier free summer concert series that takes place May through August annually.

Now that the Birthplace of Country Music has been named among the Top 25 finalists—chosen by you!—the Levitt Foundation will review each applicant and announce 15 winners on January 5, 2017.

Each Levitt AMP Music Series will feature a musically diverse lineup of high caliber entertainment, in keeping with the permanent Levitt venue program. Since Levitt AMP is a matching grant program, each applicant must show a minimum dollar for dollar match of $25K from other sources such as foundations, municipalities, businesses, etc. Up to half of the matching grant requirement may be in-kind, such as donated sound equipment or contributed marketing.

Visit Levitt AMP website.

Support the Birthplace of Country Music on #GivingTuesday

Give the Gift of Music

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Be a part of Giving Tuesday by making a tax-deductible donation to the Birthplace of Country Music, Inc.  Your gift will go towards supporting our many projects and outreach programs, including the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Radio Bristol.