Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Birthplace of Country Music Museum The Museum is closed at this time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our mission is to enhance Bristol's role in the birth and development of country music through Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, educational outreach and programming.
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The Birthplace of Country Music® Museum, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute, tells the story of our music heritage. From the Bristol Sessions and beyond, our region continues to influence music around the world. The museum embodies this accomplishment and promotes Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music.

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The #COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected the livelihood of musicians we all know and love. However, as today's blog ...
05/06/2020
The Day Live Music Died - Birthplace of Country Music

The #COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected the livelihood of musicians we all know and love. However, as today's blog post notes, the live music may have died for now, but good music always survives -- and helps us all get through the hard times! #BCMBlog

Singin’ the COVID-19 Blues The emotional and financial devastation of the global COVID-19 crisis is TBD – like so many gigs that musicians and venues have cancelled until further notice. The lives and safety of humans is priority one, and […]

Do you know who Nipper is? He's the pup who was immortalized as the iconic logo for the gramophone, Victor Talking Machi...
05/05/2020
Nipper Look-Alike Contest - Birthplace of Country Music

Do you know who Nipper is? He's the pup who was immortalized as the iconic logo for the gramophone, Victor Talking Machine Co,. and later RCA records.

Does your pup bear an uncanny resemblance to Nipper (in looks or pose)?

If so, email a photo of your pet to [email protected] by May 15 for a chance to win an awesome BCM prize pack! Check out the details here:

Is your dog the next Nipper? If so, you and your furry friend could win a BCM prize pack! Born in Bristol, England in the 1880s, Nipper the dog is one of the most recognizable pooches in history. His likeness […]

Happy National Teacher Day!We are so appreciative of the teachers who have brought their students to the museum, and for...
05/05/2020

Happy National Teacher Day!

We are so appreciative of the teachers who have brought their students to the museum, and for all of the hard work they put into educating, supporting, and encouraging the children in our community. We are missing all of you right now – but we can share the museum with you and your students in other ways.

Check out our #museumfromhome page for lots of fun activities and resources! https://bit.ly/2W41r4I

#ThankATeacher #TeacherDay2020

05/04/2020
Ernest Phipps And His Holiness Singers-Shine On Me

Today we celebrate Ernest Phipps who was born on May 4, 1900, in Kentucky. Phipps, a preacher, recorded in Bristol with His Holiness Quartet in 1927 (six songs) and with His Holiness Singers in 1928 (eight songs). Phipps' recording of “If The Light Is Gone Out Of Your Soul” and "Bright Tomorrow" in 1928 sold almost 12,000 copies, and “Shine On Me” was later featured on the influential 1952 compilation Anthology of American Folk Music.

Ernest Phipps And His Holiness Singers-Shine On Me

The museum quilt is one of our favorite exhibits -- it is both beautiful and meaningful. The focal point of the quilt is...
05/03/2020

The museum quilt is one of our favorite exhibits -- it is both beautiful and meaningful. The focal point of the quilt is the text “Birthplace of Country Music,” inspired by designs from Stoney Creek Collections, a published cross-stitch design company. The pink border framing the center design memorializes each of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recording artists, while the moss green section outside the border adapts the song “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” by A. P. Carter, charted for cross-stitching in a whimsical musical format. The artistic appliqué in the center of the quilt is based on a tree concept, evoking a powerful emotion of pride for our heritage, accented by the roots strongly anchoring our history and the growth of the tree representing our future. The quilt blocks that frame the entire quilt commemorate quilt blocks from the 1800s to the present day. This quilt was made for us by the Bristol TN/VA Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, and it was a labor of love and friendship in support of this museum and Bristol itself.

#NationalTextilesDay

It's time to start reading our next Radio Bristol Book Club book! This one is near and dear to us -- check out today's b...
05/02/2020
Radio Bristol Book Club: Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument - Birthplace of Country Music

It's time to start reading our next Radio Bristol Book Club book! This one is near and dear to us -- check out today's blog to learn more about Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument. You can join us on air on May 28 at 11:00a.m. for the book discussion.

Welcome to Radio Bristol Book Club! Each month readers from BCM and the Bristol Public Library come together to celebrate and explore one book inspired by our region’s rich Appalachian cultural and musical heritage. We invite you to read along and then listen […]

It might have been the official Earth Day on April 22, but we think every day is Earth Day! And so today you can enjoy S...
04/28/2020
Pick 5: Songs to Celebrate 50 Years of April's Earth Day - Birthplace of Country Music

It might have been the official Earth Day on April 22, but we think every day is Earth Day! And so today you can enjoy Stu Vincent's "Pick 5" where he shares five songs that he'd enjoy to mark all the joys he can find throughout an imaginary day.

For our “Pick 5” blog series, we ask members of the Radio Bristol team to pick five songs within a given theme – from heartsongs to murder ballads and everything in between! Once they pick their “5,” they get the …

04/24/2020
BCMM Social Shorts - What's in a Genre?

What’s your favorite type of music? Country? Bluegrass? Pop? Jazz? Polka? R&B? Cajun? Or something else entirely?

Check out this video to learn a little bit more about the classification of genres and how those lines are blurred in the early days of recording.

We've added new activity sheets for kids on our website! You'll find puzzles, coloring sheets, and craft activities guar...
04/23/2020

We've added new activity sheets for kids on our website! You'll find puzzles, coloring sheets, and craft activities guaranteed to make them smile while learning! https://bit.ly/2KtDgGw

It's #earthday2020 -- the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, in fact! -- so check out today's blog post about museums and su...
04/22/2020
Earth Day 2020: Sustainability, Museums, and Their Communities - Birthplace of Country Music

It's #earthday2020 -- the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, in fact! -- so check out today's blog post about museums and sustainability.

Today is Earth Day – and not just any Earth Day, but the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – a date that is traditionally marked by environmental action and conversations about sustainability. In this time during a devastating pandemic, where …

Join us on Thursday, April 23 at 11am EDT for this month’s Radio Bristol Book Club where our readers will be discussing ...
04/21/2020

Join us on Thursday, April 23 at 11am EDT for this month’s Radio Bristol Book Club where our readers will be discussing – by Zoom! – Homer Hickam Jr.’s Rocket Boys. And be sure to stay tuned after the book discussion for an on-air interview with the author!

https://tinyurl.com/y7vxehyn

You might not be able to visit the museum and see our current special exhibit Real Folk: Passing on Trades & Traditions ...
04/18/2020
Catching Up with Virginia's Real Folk - Birthplace of Country Music

You might not be able to visit the museum and see our current special exhibit Real Folk: Passing on Trades & Traditions Through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program right now, but you CAN catch up with Virginia's Real Folk in today's blog post!

Virginia Folklife Program

On March 6, the museum opened a special exhibit called Real Folk: Passing on Trades & Traditions Through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Two weeks later the museum closed its doors in accordance with the state mandate in response to …

04/17/2020
Ernest Phipps Holiness Quartet-I Want To Go Where Jesus Is

Today we honor the legacy of Ernest Phipps, who died on April 17, 1963. Phipps led His Holiness Quartet at the 1927 Bristol Sessions, and then came back to Bristol in 1928 to record with a larger group, known as His Holiness Singers. The 1927 Phipps recordings have been celebrated as pioneering Southern gospel tunes, full of energy and deep spiritual emotion.

Ernest Phipps Holiness Quartet-I Want To Go Where Jesus Is

04/16/2020
BCM Museum Social Shorts - Hillbillies

The word "hillbilly" has been used to define folks from the Appalachian region in a negative way, but, as our Head Curator Dr. Rene Rodgers explains, to Ralph Peer it had a different meaning. Watch the video and share your thoughts - do you embrace the term as positive, negative, or just...complicated?

While the museum is closed, we have been doing a deep clean, including in The Museum Store area – which gave us a great ...
04/15/2020

While the museum is closed, we have been doing a deep clean, including in The Museum Store area – which gave us a great opportunity to revamp that space and all of the wonderful items on display, ready for when we reopen. Check out the photos to see this work-in-progress and head over to the online shop! https://shop.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/

04/13/2020
BCMM Social Shorts - Technology: The Western Electric Microphone

The legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions are important for a number of reasons, and one of them is the technology used to capture the sound during those recordings. Our Head Curator, Dr. Rene Rodgers, shares some fun info about the technology that changed music history in the following video.

#museumfromhome #bcmmuseum #smithsonianaffiliate

Our doors may be closed, but that doesn't mean you can't experience and enjoy the Birthplace of Country Music from home!...
04/10/2020
Be a Part of the Birthplace of Country Music at Home! - Birthplace of Country Music

Our doors may be closed, but that doesn't mean you can't experience and enjoy the Birthplace of Country Music from home! Check out today's blog post to check out all the cool digital content you can access via our platforms:

#museumfromhome

We are living in extraordinary times right now, making many feel unsettled and anxious as we face a host of uncertainties. For me, music often acts as a balm to troubled thoughts and worries, and so while the museum is …

Birthplace of Country Music Museum
04/10/2020

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

04/09/2020
BCMM Social Shorts Harp Guitar

Was the harp guitar used during the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings? The answer: it's complicated. Our Head Curator, Dr. Rene Rodgers examines this unsolved mystery in our latest video. We hope you enjoy it!

From our permanent and special exhibits to special programming like Pick Along Summer Camps and WBCM - Radio Bristol's F...
04/08/2020

From our permanent and special exhibits to special programming like Pick Along Summer Camps and WBCM - Radio Bristol's Farm and Fun Time show, tell us about the things you most enjoy about the museum. We'd love to know!

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We might not be able to have our monthly live Farm and Fun Time show this April, but did you know that you can catch The...
04/07/2020
The Farm and Fun Are Never Far from Radio Bristol! - Birthplace of Country Music

We might not be able to have our monthly live Farm and Fun Time show this April, but did you know that you can catch The Farm and Fun Time Noon Show every Friday to get your fix?! Check out today's blog post to learn more and then start tuning in:

Since its inception in April 2016, Farm and Fun Time has become the flagship show of the Radio Bristol programming lineup. Featuring the finest in contemporary roots music artists and segments that highlight Appalachian food and farming, Farm and Fun …

04/06/2020
Henry Whitter-Rain Crow Bill

Today we honor the legacy of Henry Whitter who was born April 6, 1892 in Fries, Virginia. Whitter recorded two harmonica solos at the 1927 Bristol Sessions -- "Rain Crow Bill" and "Henry Whitter's Fox Chase." He had recorded extensively before Bristol, with over 60 numbers, many of which were done for OKeh Records. Whitter often used a harmonica rack so that he could play guitar and harmonica at the same time. After meeting at a fiddlers' convention in 1927, Whitter recorded with Appalachian fiddler G. B. Grayson for two years, including songs like "Tom Dooley" and "Handsome Molly."

Here is Whitter's "Rain Crow Bill":

Henry Whitter-Rain Crow Bill

We've got a great new book to read for our April Radio Bristol Book Club -- Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys! Learn more in to...
03/31/2020
Radio Bristol Book Club: Rocket Boys - Birthplace of Country Music

We've got a great new book to read for our April Radio Bristol Book Club -- Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys! Learn more in today's blog post, read the book, and then tune into the discussion on April 23 at 11am.

Welcome to Radio Bristol Book Club! Each month readers from BCM and the Bristol Public Library come together to celebrate and explore one book inspired by our region’s rich Appalachian cultural and musical heritage. We invite you to read along and then listen …

03/27/2020
Social Shorts - The Anatomy of a Hit

Great stories make for great songs. Our Head Curator Dr. Rene Rodgers examines how some tragic events in history made up the anatomy of a few hit records in the following video - kinda like musicians of today whom are creating music about the current pandemic.

03/26/2020
BCMM Social Shorts: Fun Activities for Kids to Do at Home

Hey, Mom and Dad! We wanna see how creative your kids are! Check out the activities pages on our website. Download the banjo coloring sheet or watch the banjo craft video with your child. Now the fun part: Get their imaginations stirring and come up with a crazy theme for their banjo activity. Do they love animals? Super heroes? Princesses? Have them design the themed banjo of their dreams, snap a photo of it, and share it with us in the comments section below! We can't wait to see what they come up with! We hope this helps put a smile on their faces while passing the time during the quarantine. Stay safe everyone!
Here's the link: https://bit.ly/3anqG6X

Join us tomorrow March 26 at 11am on WBCM - Radio Bristol for March's Radio Bristol Book Club. Our readers couldn't join...
03/25/2020

Join us tomorrow March 26 at 11am on WBCM - Radio Bristol for March's Radio Bristol Book Club. Our readers couldn't join us this month, so instead we have a conversation with the book's author Ronald Kidd! He'll be talking about how he came up with the story and characters in Lord of the Mountain -- and much more!

On March 24, 1900, Clarice Blackard Shelor was born in Patrick County, Virginia. Clarice sang and sometimes played piano...
03/24/2020

On March 24, 1900, Clarice Blackard Shelor was born in Patrick County, Virginia. Clarice sang and sometimes played piano in her family's stringband made up of her father, her husband, and her brother-in-law. The Shelor Family Band recorded four sides in Bristol in 1927: "Big Bend Gal," "Susanna Gal," "Sandy River Belle," and "Billy Grimes the Rover." Two of these songs were recorded under a different name -- Dad Blackard's Moonshiners.

Image from the liner notes of The Bristol Sessions 1927--1928: The Big Bang of Country Music by Ted Olson and Tony Russell

March's Farm and Fun Time was an audience favorite -- and marked a good ending to the Radio Bristol Fund Drive and a new...
03/22/2020
Spring Has Sprung: And Farm and Fun Time is Growing! - Birthplace of Country Music

March's Farm and Fun Time was an audience favorite -- and marked a good ending to the Radio Bristol Fund Drive and a new start with Blue Ridge PBS. Check out today's blog post to learn more:

From rockin’ new roots music to Americana royalty, March’s Farm and Fun Time was a thrilling conclusion to our 2020 Radio Bristol Fund Drive! A special thanks to all the generous donors who helped exceed our stretch goal of $25,000! And …

It's #WomensHistoryMonth, and so let's go back to a 2017 #BCMBlog to remember and celebrate the extraordinary Hattie Sto...
03/21/2020
Hattie Stoneman: Raising Her Children in Music - Birthplace of Country Music

It's #WomensHistoryMonth, and so let's go back to a 2017 #BCMBlog to remember and celebrate the extraordinary Hattie Stoneman, who made an impact on early country music – all while bearing 23 children, facing sadness and grief due to several miscarriages, stillbirths, and children passing, and finding ways to keep her family going through hardship and poverty.

The enormous influence of women in country music is evident in every era, most certainly in the early days of country music. Sometimes women’s contributions are overshadowed in the historical record, and the story of the Stoneman family is no different. Without …

"Mining songs shine a light on the many ups and downs of the mining life. Here’s just a small sampling (and despite the ...
02/07/2020

"Mining songs shine a light on the many ups and downs of the mining life. Here’s just a small sampling (and despite the “Pick 5” title, I couldn’t pick just five, so you get a bonus song for six!)..."

Another great Pick 5 in the latest #BCMBlog , by guest contributor Rich Kirby:
https://bit.ly/2OvF3NB

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101 Country Music Way
Bristol, VA
24201

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The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest V. Stoneman, and others – recordings that were influential in shaping the sounds and practices of early commercial country music. The museum explores how this rich musical heritage lives on in today's music, and how music from our region continues to influence music around the world.

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Comments

I hope you get to open soon! Mackenzie is having withdrawals very badly! She was hoping for jam this month!
I want to say a huge thank you for your instructional materials on the website. I have shared a couple materials with my music students and they loved designing their own banjo and writing their own version of “Keep on the Sunny Side” Scotty Almany is awesome! 🎶🪕💯
I have a live show on Facebook, Thursdays, 10 am your time...Cowboy Coffee, last week I advertised your museum and talked about my ancestor, with Ralph Peer , the Hillbillies!!
My granddaughter loved making a banjo.
My grandchildren loved making banjos for their grandpas.
Here's a brand new interview with the grandson of Sara and A.P. Carter of the original Carter Family... Dale Jett.
I'll be visiting the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA this Thursday then drinking Big-e'ze root beer on tap at the Big-e'ze Studio Brew. Then on to Roanoke, VA to see Steve Forbert live on Friday then on to Durham, NC on Saturday to see Steve for a second night.
As Hurricane Florence Evacuees, we would just like to thank Bristol for being so welcoming and for giving us reasons to smile while we wait to return safely to our damaged homes, schools, and businesses. We can't thank you enough for the hospitality, love, and GREAT music to soothe our tired ol' traveling feet. We love you Bristol! #WilmingtonStrong #NCStrong
Why has Carter Stanley been removed but Ralph Stanley is still there ? Must not know much about "THE STANLEY BROTHERS"......Sad
They start young.
Learning to pick at a young age.
You have been featured on my latest travel post! Head to sweetsouthermrs.com to read all about what I consider the 12 Must-Do Summer Activities in the Tri-Cities Region! https://www.sweetsouthernmrs.com/12-must-do-summer-activities-in-the-tri-cities/