Jackson, Mississippi — November 22, 2019 — Jimmie Rodgers received his second Mississippi Country Music Trail marker Friday in Bristol, Tennessee.
The marker recognizes Rodgers’ participation in the Bristol Sessions, a series of music recordings regarded by music historians as “The Big Bang of Country Music.”
“Bristol is not only where Mississippi son Jimmie Rodgers was discovered, but also country music itself, earning Rodgers the title of ‘The Father of Country Music,’” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. “It is an honor to plant this Mississippi Country Music Trail marker in what many consider country music’s holy ground.”
The Bristol Sessions were a series of music recordings produced by Victor Talking Machine Company producer Ralph Peer in 1927. Peer was on a multi-stop tour of the Southeast to capture recordings of blues, ragtime, gospel, country, ballads and string bands for posterity. The sessions led to the discovery of Jimmie Rodgers and the “First Family of Country Music,” the Carter Family. Songs recorded by Rodgers and the Carter Family during this time propelled both acts to superstardom, popularized the genre and forever changed the country music landscape.
Ray, who also serves as chairman of the Mississippi Country Music Trail Commission, was joined by musician Marty Stuart, Mayor Neal Osborne of Bristol, Va., Terry Napier of Bristol, Tenn., and Birthplace of Country Music Executive Director Leah Ross to unveil the marker.
The marker is located at 416 State St., Bristol, Tenn., in the location where the recordings took place. It is the trail’s 33rd marker.
Founded in 2010, the Mississippi Country Music Trail recognizes the state’s contributions to country music. To learn more about the Mississippi Country Music Trail, visit mscountrymusictrail.org.