Bluegrass Bus Museum


You are here

The Johnson City Sessions Release Celebration Weekend Oct. 17-20

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

The Johnson City SessionsBristol, TN/VA -- East Tennessee State University and Birthplace of Country Music present Johnson City Sessions Weekend, October 17-20, 2013, an event-packed weekend celebrating the release of Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929 "Can You Sing or Play Old-Time Music" CD Box Set, remastered by Bear Family Records.

"Many folks recognize Ralph Peer's work with the Bristol Sessions as the 'Big Bang' of country music," says Birthplace of Country Music Executive Director Leah Ross, "the continuation of that work by Frank B. Walker in Johnson City is just as significant to our Appalachian music heritage."

The Johnson City Sessions, conducted by Columbia Records producer Frank B. Walker in October 1928 and October 1929 in Johnson City, Tennessee, are generally viewed as the second-most important field recording sessions ever conducted in Appalachia (the most influential being the Bristol Sessions of July-August 1927). Collectively, the 1928 and 1929 Johnson City Sessions recordings for Columbia Records are deemed by today's scholars and record collectors as constituting a strong, distinctive cross-section of old-time Appalachian music at the cusp of the Great Depression.

The forthcoming Bear Family Records box set marks the first time that the 1928 and 1929 Johnson City Sessions recordings have been compiled in any form. The 1928-1929 Johnson City Sessions: Can You Sing Or Play Old-Time Music? box set is a 4-CD collection and a 12 inch by 12 inch LP sized book on the music and history of the time. Bear Family is known for their superb high-quality books and recordings.

While Bristol, TN/VA has been recognized as the Birthplace of Country Music that had its Big Bang with the Carter Family recordings, Johnson City wasn't far behind. Johnson City, TN is in the Tri-Cities area which also includes Kingsport, TN where many top bluegrass and old-time artists call home. While the Johnson City Sessions were right on the heels of The Bristol Session but, 1929 was not the year to do anything big and new as the Great Depression was also in full swing. Fortunately, the Johnson City Sessions survived and are being reintroduced this October.

Johnson City Sessions Weekend Calendar of Events:

Thursday, October 17, 4:30pm
Johnson City Sessions Box Set Reception/Presentation — FREE EVENT
Carroll Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University
Johnson City Sessions Box Set Co-Producer Tony Russell
Live Music by Roan County Ramblers
Saturday, October 19, 7:00pm
Johnson City Sessions Box Set Release Party — TICKETS $20 (click to purchase)
The Down Home, 300 W. Main St., Johnson City, TN
With family members of Johnson City Sessions musicians 1920s-era Appalachian music by Hello Stranger ft. Dale Jett, The Corklickers, The ETSU Blues Band, The ETSU Old-Time Pride Band, and The Bowman Family Band
Sunday, October 20, 5:00pm
VIP Gala Event & Mountain Stage — PACKAGE $75 (click to purchase)
Venue at the King Center, 300 E. Main St.
Heavy hors d'oeuvres, cocktails included
Preferred seating Mountain Stage tickets will be distributed to VIPs at Gala Event
Sunday, October 20, 7:00pm
Mountain Stage with Larry Groce — TICKETS $35 (click to purchase)
Martha Street Culp Auditorium at DP Culp University Center
East Tennessee State University
Performers: Darrell Scott & Tim O'Brien, Sarah Jarosz, Old Man Luedecke, The Deadly Gentlemen, and ETSU Old-Time Pride Band

Call Birthplace of Country Music® for more information: 423-573-1927.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer