I love WSM Radio. It’s one of the best stations in the country currently, and one of the most historically significant broadcast medias in human history. If you have any love for country music, you need to listen to WSM, based out of Nashville.
WSM Radio helped popularize country music in this country, thanks in part to being a clear channel station, that could be heard all over the South and other parts of the country. In the early days of radio WSM was the sound for much of the South, providing news, information and music to the people of the region.
WSM is why The Country Music Hall of Fame is in Nashville. It’s also why Nashville is the country capital of the world. But while Nashville helped make country music popular and available to the masses, country music was created a few hours east of the city.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia country music took shape in the early parts of the 20th century. Yes, cowboy music in Texas and the West is important to the conversation, but without the bluegrass music in the Blue Ridge area there is no country music as we know it.
On this episode I’m joined by Dr. Rene Rodgers, who makes the case for Bristol as the home for country music. Dr. Rodgers is the head curator of The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, located in Bristol (TN & VA). Dr. Rodgers talks about the early recordings done in that area by artists like The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. We also talk about some of the lesser-know, but still important early country pioneers.
Learn more about The Birthplace of Country Music Museum on their website: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org. They also have a really cool radio station that you can stream online that highlights music of the region: https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/radio.
Listen to Episode 3 Here: