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Offered February 20, 2017
Commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions.
Patrons-- O'Quinn, Kilgore and Pillion; Senator: Carrico

WHEREAS, the 1927 Bristol Sessions, a series of recording sessions that yielded dozens of songs by artists from the Commonwealth and throughout the American South, brought the mountain music of southern Appalachia to a national audience, revolutionized the music industry, and laid the foundation for modern country music; and

WHEREAS, seeking true profitable southern music, Ralph Peer, a producer for the Victor Talking Machine Company, toured the American South and held auditions in Bristol in a portable recording studio in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company building in 1927; and

WHEREAS, the 1927 Bristol Sessions yielded 76 songs by 19 different artists, including songs by Ernest V. Stoneman of Galax and the commercial debuts of the Carter Family of Scott County, the “First Family of Country Music,” and Jimmie Rodgers, the “Father of Country Music”; and

WHEREAS, the 1927 Bristol Sessions met with commercial success, and both the artists’ work and Ralph Peer’s innovative recording techniques influenced the music industry for years to come; in 2002, the Library of Congress ranked the 1927 Bristol Sessions as one of the most significant sound recording events of all time; and

WHEREAS, the history and heritage of the 1927 Bristol Sessions are preserved and promoted by the Birthplace of Country Music, a nonprofit organization that organizes the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, operates the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and broadcasts the music of Appalachia on Radio Bristol; and

WHEREAS, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is an annual three-day festival that celebrates Bristol’s significant role in reshaping the American cultural landscape; the event draws more than 50,000 music enthusiasts and showcases the very best in Americana, folk-rock, bluegrass, old-time, and Piedmont blues; and

WHEREAS, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, opened in 2014, featuring multiple interactive exhibits, educational programs, music performances, and community events to explore the legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions year-round; Radio Bristol broadcasts on the air and online from inside the museum; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Birthplace of Country Music, as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for the significance of the 1927 Bristol Sessions to country music and cultural life in the Commonwealth and the United States.

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