Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Richmond Magazine: Digging at Country Music's Roots

What do you do when you write TOO much, and the excised stuff is just too good to leave on the cutting room floor?

You turn it into an online extra, of course.

So let's call my new web-only feature on early country music for Richmond Magazine a "companion" to the feature article on the 1927 Bristol Sessions (and the soon-to-open Birthplace of Country Music Museum) that I wrote for the publication in this month's issue. 

Or we can call it a bonus track. Or maybe inspired leftovers. 

Here's an excerpt from "Digging at Country Music's Roots." 
Country, or “hillbilly,” music had actually been around as a commercial concern for years prior to the Bristol Sessions. If we are to judge history purely on where the music was recorded, New York City could also claim itself the “Birthplace of Country Music” if it wanted to.
In 1922, a fiddler from the Texas panhandle, Eck Robertson, met up with an older fiddler of mysterious origin, Henry Gilliland, at an Old Confederates Reunion in Richmond. They decided to travel to the Big Apple and inquire about playing on one of those new talking machine platters. The duo auditioned for executives at Victor, who said what the heck, and captured what are considered the first commercial recordings of what we now know as old-time music.
Read the online extra, "Digging at Country Music's Roots," by clicking right here

Read the main article on Bristol, "Standing on the Promises," see an early country timeline, hear the music and get the full Rich Labs multi-media experience by clicking right here.

The photo shown is of fiddler Eck Robertson. A handsome feller.

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