Bristol in Sullivan County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Performing near Asheville, North Carolina in the summer of 1927, Rodgers traveled to Bristol, Tennessee upon hearing the news of a field recording session for the Victor Talking Machine Company. On August 4 that same year he made his first recordings, “Sleep, Baby Sleep” and “The Soldiers’s Sweetheart,” in a make-shift studio on the 400 block of State Street. Later that year he traveled to Camden, New Jersey where he recorded his first Blue Yodel, “ ‘T’ for Texas,” which went on to sell over 1 million copies. Rodgers went on to record 127 more songs over the next six years.
Rodgers’ music blended blues, jazz, hillbilly, crooner, and vaudeville styles into a new prototype of American music, as he became country music’s first superstar and the “Father of Country Music.” The new genre of country music emerged during America’s Great Depression as Rodgers traveled the nation with humorist Will Rogers, broke race barriers by recording with Louis Armstrong and blues guitarist Clifford Gibson, and even made a short film entitled “The Singing Brakeman.” Jimmie Rodgers died in New York on May 26, 1933 from complications of tuberculosis while recording his last songs.
Rodgers’ influence has crossed genres of music around the world. He was the first person to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The inscription on his plaque at the Country Music Hall of Fame describes him best: “the man who started it all.”
Erected by Sprint.
Location. 36° 35.694′ N, 82° 10.904′ W. Marker is in Bristol, Tennessee, in Sullivan County. Marker is at the intersection of State Street and 5th Street on State Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 486 State St, Bristol TN 37620, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Country and Western Recording (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of Bristol (within shouting distance of this marker); Bristol (within shouting distance of this marker); Vance Klondike Derby (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line in Virginia); Civil War Memorial (about 400 feet away in Virginia); Historic Bristol (about 400 feet away in Virginia); Bristol Union Railway Station (about 400 feet away in Virginia); Overmountain Patriots of the American Revolution (about 700 feet away in Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bristol.
Also see . . .
1. Jimmie Rodgers - The Father of Country Music. The official Jimmie Rodgers website. (Submitted on November 11, 2009, by Jeff Conner of Norfolk, Virginia.)
2. Jimmie Rodgers. Wikipedia article. (Submitted on November 11, 2009, by Jeff Conner of Norfolk, Virginia.)
1. “Sleep, Baby, Sleep” by Jimmie Rodgers (1927)
Jimmie Rodger’s first recording on Victor Records.
— Submitted August 3, 2013, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 957 times since then and 18 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on October 9, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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