Bristol Country Music
Fiddles, hill-folk soul, bluegrass, gospel, six-strings and the 1927 recording sessions all led to what is now known as the Birthplace of Country Music—Bristol, Tenn. With hopes to give this birthplace a home, an organization is working toward preserving the history to educate individuals about southern Appalachia music.
The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (BCMA), a non‐profit organization dedicated to telling the story of Appalachia’s musical heritage and cultural traditions, has launched a campaign in hopes of getting a Cultural Heritage Center fully funded and running by 2013. The purpose of the center is to preserve Bristol’s heritage, promote the Birthplace of Country Music and create a place to tell the story of Bristol’s musical history.
“It will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Bristol and our region to capitalize on our rich history and musical culture as an associate of the Smithsonian Institute,” says John Rainero, president of the BCMA.
The goal of the campaign is for 1,927 people to donate $520 to the capital fund this year. The individuals who donate will be called “Friends of 1927” and receive benefits. Benefits include a pin, certificate, special preview of the center before the grand opening, as well as discounts, press conference invitations and future recognition.
“We are asking people to rally for the Birthplace of Country Music,” says Rhythm and Roots Reunion Executive Director Leah Ross. “Until the Cultural Heritage Center is built, the Birthplace doesn’t have a real home.”
Visitors at the facility will have the opportunity to listen to music and see exhibits showing the history, influences and development of country music. Plans for the center also include live musical performances, educational programs and other activities. “The Cultural Heritage will be a life changing educational experience for every visitor as well as members of the greater community,” says Rainero.
To make a donation and become a “friend of 1927,” visit birthplaceofcountrymusic.org or for more information, call 423.573.1927.