Bristol, Tenn.-Va. (June 28, 2022) – The 95th Anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions will be celebrated with a night of music featuring Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Lauren Morrow, Roni Stoneman and host band Bill and the Belles at 7 p.m. EDT, July 21. The event is a special live taping of WBCM Radio Bristol’s “Farm and Fun Time” variety show at Historic Downtown Bristol’s Paramount Theater.
From July 25 to August 5 in 1927, Ralph Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 acts for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Those sides included the first recordings of the Carter Family, the “First Family of Country Music,” and Jimmie Rodgers, the “Father of Country Music,” and catapulted early country music into the mainstream.
“This is a very special edition of ‘Farm and Fun Time ‘ as we honor Peer and the 1927 Bristol Sessions,” said Radio Bristol Program Director Kris Truelsen. “We are very excited to have a great lineup of artists that includes Rhonda, Lauren and special guest Roni Stoneman, a direct descendent of one of the original performers on the Sessions; she is the daughter of Ernest “Pop” Stoneman who encouraged Peer to travel to Bristol to record. This is going to be a very special show.”
Headlining the event is the reigning “Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent and her band The Rage. This multi-talented, multi-award-winning artist has earned an unprecedented seven consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) from 2000-2006 and an eighth in 2015. In 2021 Rhonda was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
Lauren Morrow is the former frontwoman for The Whiskey Gentry. Her first solo EP achieved widespread acclaim, including “Best of” lists in Rolling Stone and Garden & Gun. Lauren recently wrapped up recording her first solo, full-length album at Nashville’s Sound Emporium.
Virtuoso bluegrass banjoist Roni Stoneman is the second-youngest of Ernest “Pop” Stoneman and wife Hattie’s 23 children and is known for her role on the popular variety show “Hee Haw.” She performed with her siblings and parents in The Stoneman Family band, including shows at the White House, the Smithsonian, and the Grand Ole Opry.
Host band Bill and the Belles is known for combining a stringband format with their signature harmonies, candid songwriting, and pop sensibilities. Composed of Truelsen on guitar, fiddler Kalia Yeagle, banjo/banjo-uke player Aidan Van Suetendael, and bassist Andrew Small, the band’s latest album Happy Again is full of life, humor, and tongue-in-cheek explorations of love and loss.
Presented by the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music organization, “Farm and Fun Time” is a revival of the classic program that aired on WCYB radio in the 1940s and 1950s and was fundamental in the career development of bluegrass acts such as Flatt and Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, and Jim and Jesse McReynolds.
“Farm and Fun Time” broadcasts live before a studio audience and can be accessed in its entirety at WBCM Radio Bristol’s Facebook, on the air at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at ListenRadioBristol.org or via the free mobile app. The show is syndicated on Blue Ridge PBS, East Tennessee PBS, and PBS North Carolina.
Tickets for “Farm and Fun Time” are on sale now for $35-$82 at the Paramount box office located at 518 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee and online at ParamountBristol.org.