Celebrating The "Big Bang" of Country Music
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the award-winning Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia tells the story of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions – the event in history scholars refer to as the “big bang” of country music – and their lasting impact on the music of today.
About the Museum
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum explores how evolving sound technology shaped the success of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and highlights how this rich musical heritage still thrives in the Appalachian region and beyond. Through multiple theater experiences, interactive and stationary displays – 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. Rotating exhibitions from guest curators and other institutions, including the Smithsonian, are featured throughout the year in the Special Exhibits Gallery. The museum also houses a collection of related objects, photographs, ephemera, and a digital archive.
NEW! Museum Story Time: Come a Tide
Apr 7, 2023 @ 10:30 AM
Monthly Community Jam
Apr 8, 2023 @ 02:00 PM
Speaker Sessions: The cast and collaborators for Barter Theatre’s “Keep on the Sunny Side”
Apr 11, 2023 @ 07:00 PM
Monthly Bluegrass Jam
Apr 22, 2023 @ 02:00 PM
From Pick Along Summer Camps and student field trips to online activities and classroom resources for teachers, the Museum offers a wide variety of educational and outreach programming for the community year-round.
The story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions comes alive through our interactive permanent exhibits, and the Museum also features a wide range of temporary exhibits in our Special Exhibits Gallery.
The collections at the museum—including documents and ephemera, photographs, recordings, instruments, and recording equipment—extend far beyond the artifacts currently displayed in our exhibit space.
An online museum experience that includes fun virtual tours, student activities, and other video content that’s not only educational, but also entertaining.
Radio Bristol Book Club: Songteller – My Life in Lyrics
December 6, 2021
The Root of It: George Jackson on Ed Haley
December 3, 2021
A Big Festival ‘Thank You!’: Gratitude Playlist Included!
November 24, 2021
Radio Bristol Spotlight: Ed Snodderly
November 16, 2021
Radio Bristol Book Club: Hear My Sad Story: The True Tales That Inspired “Stagolee,” “John Henry,” and Other Traditional American Folk Songs
November 3, 2021
The Root of It: Brad Kolodner on Clyde Davenport
September 24, 2021
Radio Bristol Spotlight: Anya Hinkle
September 16, 2021
Radio Bristol Book Club: The Carter Family – Don’t Forget This Song
September 1, 2021
Tintype Photography: A Bridge from the Past to the Present
August 30, 2021
The Root of It: Nora Brown on Lee Sexton
August 27, 2021
From The Vault: The 1927 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue
August 18, 2021
Radio Bristol Spotlight: Shay Martin Lovette
August 11, 2021
Radio Bristol Book Club: Weaver’s Daughter
August 4, 2021
Radio Bristol Spotlight: Adam Bolt
July 9, 2021
Radio Bristol Book Club: Sharyn McCrumb’s Appalachia
July 1, 2021
Will the Circle Be Unbroken? A Personal Commentary on the Cycle of Various Changes in Country Music
June 30, 2021
June Carter Cash: A Life in Country Music
June 23, 2021
Instrumental History: Inspired by Jimmie Rodgers Martin 000-45 Guitar
February 3, 2023
Radio Bristol’s Top Albums of 2022
December 30, 2022
All I want for Christmas is a great music experience and the t-shirt: Bristol Rhythm Christmas Party Playlist included
December 21, 2022
From the Vault: National Fiddle Day
December 13, 2022