As they prepare for next month’s onslaught of the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, the city of Bristol, Tennessee is hosting a anniversary celebration next week for the iconic mural facing their Downtown Center which commemorates the Bristol Sessions in 1927.
Local artist and musician Tim White started work on this project in 1985, eventually completing a 30 x 100 foot mural depicting Ralph Peer, the Victor Recording representative who first captured the music of Jimmy Rodgers, The Carter Family, and The Stoneman Family on their then new recording gear, and brought their music to the masses. White’s portrait includes all those seminal artists along with the Victor label in what has become a landmark for those visiting Bristol.
The mural also declares the two cities of Bristol (Virginia and Tennessee) as the Birthplace of Country Music, an appellation they have successfully employed since to promote tourism in the area. The recently-opened Birthplace of Country Music Museum on the Virginia side has become a popular destination for fans of old time country and bluegrass music, including a new radio station (WBCM) that will soon be broadcasting worldwide online.
Bristol’s celebration of the mural will be held on Tuesday, August 25 at 7:00 p.m. Tim White will perform with The VW Boys, and other music will be provided at no charge.
Representatives from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Appalachian Cultural Music Museum will be on hand with information about their efforts.