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Volume 24, Number 4 — April 2017

Two Grammy Nominations for "Bristol Sessions" Boxed Set

The Bristol Sessions compilation was released by Bear Family Records in March 2011.
The Bristol Sessions compilation was released by Bear Family Records in March 2011.

February 07, 2012

BRISTOL, TN / VA — "The Bristol Sessions 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music" Box Set has received two Grammy nominations in the Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes categories. The compilation was released by Bear Family Records in March 2011.

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards on February 12, 2012, in Los Angeles will be broadcast on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET.

"This is a wonderful achievement," says Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA). "We congratulate Ted Olson, Christopher King and Chris Zwarg for their hard work and dedication to this project. We also congratulate Bear Family Records. It's another example of how important those recordings really are to the history of American music."

"Johnny Cash once said that the Bristol Sessions are the single most important event in the history of country music," says BCMA Board President John Rainero. "It's amazing that those recordings are still having an impact, even today."

The "birth" of country music is attributed to recording sessions held by music industry pioneer Ralph Peer of the Victor recording company in Bristol over a period of two weeks starting July 25, 1927. The renowned 1927 Bristol sessions were among the earliest attempts to make field recordings of musicians in Appalachia. Peer recorded 76 performances by 19 music acts in Bristol during 1927, including the first-ever recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, as well as numerous recordings of fellow Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman. Peer returned the next year to make additional recordings.

Bear Family Records' digitally remastered compilation represents the first time both the 1927 and 1928 sessions have been packaged together. The box set features some never-before-released recordings and many that have not been reissued since their initial release as 78 rpm records in the 1920s. Copies of the Bristol Sessions Box Set are $180.