The Birthplace of Country Music is pleased to announce that the “Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited” album will be released on Tuesday, May 12, 2015.
Celebrating the impact that the 1927 Bristol Sessions had on the country music industry, “Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited” features re-creations of the original Bristol Sessions recordings by country music stars including, Ashley & Shannon Campbell, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Carl Jackson, Corbin Hayslett, Dolly Parton, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Emmylou Harris, Jesse McReynolds, Keb´ Mo´, Larry Cordle & The Virginia Luthiers, Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Chuck Wagon Gang, The Church Sisters, The Shotgun Rubies, and Vince Gill. The recording project also includes narration of the 1927 Bristol Sessions history by famed Opry host Eddie Stubbs.
Also known as the “Big Bang of Country Music,” the legendary recordings by Ralph Peer took country music to a new level and produced pioneers of the genre, such as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Johnny Cash referred to this event as “the single most important event in the history of country music.”
The idea to recreate the 1927 Bristol Sessions had been discussed within the Birthplace of Country Music organization for years, but the serendipitous connection between board member John Rainero, veteran songwriter Rusty Morrell and Grammy-winning producer Carl Jackson helped bring “Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited” to life. With support from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Birthplace of Country Music, the album was created and produced throughout 2014 and early 2015.
“My dear friend Rusty Morrell approached me with the idea to produce a project honoring the original 1927 Bristol Sessions,” Jackson said. “He was very aware and fond of a couple of other multi-artist ‘tribute’ projects I had produced and felt I was the guy who could bring his vision to life. In my opinion, the importance of those 1927 recordings cannot be overstated, and I am truly honored that Rusty asked me to shine a new and loving light on some of those classic works.”
The Smithsonian Institution-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia is dedicated to preserve the legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and their lasting influence on American popular music. The museum is part of The Crooked Road, the tie that binds Southwest Virginia’s music heritage to a rich history. The Crooked Road spans more than 300 miles, showcasing the land and its people inspired legends like the Carter family, the Stoneman family, Dr. Ralph Stanley and Johnny Cash. Its authentic culture continues to inspire musicians today.
“Orthophonic Joy” is a modern take on the authentic, legendary music birthed in the foothills of the majestic mountains across Southwest Virginia and Tennessee. The songs, many of which have been passed from generation to generation, are meant to inspire travel to a region which music lovers have long revered as sacred ground.
“The 1927 Bristol Sessions have often been honored for their impact on the world’s music,” said Leah Ross, executive director, Birthplace of Country Music. “With the opening of the Museum, the release of ‘Orthophonic Joy,’ and the upcoming launch of a new WBCM radio station, BCM and the team of irreplaceable partners who are part of these endeavors are ensuring the legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions lives on for generations to come.”
Three key partners on this project include the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“In Tennessee, we like to say the music is ‘in the water.’ It flows from every corner of the state, from cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Bristol and small towns like Brownsville, Smithville and Franklin,” said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Entertainment icons Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Marty Stuart are breathing new life into the 1927 Bristol Sessions. The Orthophonic Joy project is a vivid reminder of our musical roots and will inspire future generations of music makers and fans.”
“The music still comes out of the hills as a new generation of performers take mountain music back into the mainstream,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “It can be heard at general stores, barber shops, ice cream stands, small town theaters, and front porches throughout the region. Visitors can easily meet the musicians and presenters, some of whom are direct descendants of some of the most famous names in the genre. This experience is not manufactured. It is unquestionably an authentic Virginia—and American—experience.”
“This album further establishes why Bristol is known as the Birthplace of Country Music,” said Matt Bolas, executive director of the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Bristol’s music heritage draws visitors from around the world, and this album along with the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Music Festival, year round live music and concerts, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum amplifies why Bristol is a music destination.”
The album is currently available for pre-orders through Amazon and iTunes. The album will also be available for purchase at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum on May 12, 2015.