Before the Big Bang does not assert—or attempt to persuade—that the genre of country music as we know it now can be found on the various discs and cylinders produced in the four decades prior to the 1927 Bristol Sessions, if only we examine the right recordings. Instead the box set answers two main questions.
Maybe we were trying to bring a little visibility to the project while the sunshine from Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary was still pouring in and spoke too soon. Nonetheless, the scope of Before the Big Bang: Country Music Origins in the Acoustic Era, 1890-1926 has expanded.
Guest post by Ted Olson
Like any fan of American roots music, I’m a fan of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. And like many fans of those great artists I heard years ago that they had made their first records at the Bristol Sessions, the 1927 location recording sessions in Bristol, Tennessee. I learned that one scholar (Nolan Porterfield) had dubbed what happened in Bristol as “the Big Bang of Country Music” and that a former mayor of Bristol had called that small city “the Birthplace of Country Music.” I sought to know more.