Although musicians had been recording fiddle tunes (known as Old Time Music at that time) in the
southern Appalachians for several years, It wasn\'t until August 1, 1927 in Bristol, Tennessee, that Country
Music really began. There, on that day, Ralph Peer signed Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family to
recording contracts for Victor Records.
These two recording acts set the tone for those to follow - Rodgers with his unique singing style and the
Carters with their extensive recordings of old-time music.

Jimmie Rodgers
Known as the "Father of Country Music," James Charles Rodgers was born in Meridian, Mississippi on
September 8, 1897. Always in ill health, he became a railroad hand, until ill health caught up with him
and he was forced to seek a less strenuous occupation. An amateur entertainer for many years, he became
a serious performer in 1925, appearing in Johnson City, Tennessee and other places. In 1926, Rodgers
and Carrie, his wife of 6 years, moved to Asheville, North Carolina, and organized the Jimmie Rodgers\'
Entertainers, a hillbilly band comprising Jack Pierce (guitar), Jack Grant (mandolin/banjo), Claude Grant
(banjo), and Rodgers himself (banjo).
Upon hearing that Ralph Peer of Victor Records was setting up a portable recording studio in Bristol, on
the Virginia-Tennessee border, the Entertainers headed in that direction. But due to a dispute within their
ranks, Rodgers eventually recorded as a solo artist, selecting a sentimental ballad, "The Soldier\'s
Sweetheart," and a lullaby, "Sleep, Baby, Sleep," as his first offerings. The record met with instant
acclaim, thus causing Victor to record further Rodgers\' sides throughout 1927, including the first in a set
of 13, Blue Yodel # 1 (T for Texas)

Rodgers, who died in 1933, never appeared on any major radio show or even played the Grand Ole Opry
during his lifetime. But he, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams were the first persons to be elected to the
Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, which is indicative of his importance in the history of Country
Music.
The Carter Family
One of the most influential groups in country music was The Carter Family (A.P., Sara, cousin Maybelle,
and others). The Carters first recorded for Ralph Peer for Victor on August 1, 1927--the same day that
Jimmie Rodgers cut his first sides--completing six titles, including "Single Girl, Married Girl," at a
makeshift studio in Bristol, Tennessee, known as the Bristol Barn Sessions.
Sara and A.P. obtained a divorce during 1936, but continued working together in the group, which now
included Anita, June, and Helen (Maybelle and Ezra Carter\'s three daughters) and Janette and Joe (Sara
and A.P.\'s children). From 1936-39, the Family cut for Decca, and after that for Columbia and again for
Victor. The last session by the original Carter Family took place on October 14, 1941, and the Family
disbanded in 1943, having waxed over 250 of their songs and one of their signature songs, "Sunny Side of
Life" , recorded in 1928. Also included is a video clip from the 1950\'s of Maybelle\'s daughters June,
Helen, and Anita who carried on this legacy for more than two decades after the original Carter\'s left the
studio.

Bill Monroe
The virtual base on which the whole of bluegrass music rests, William Smith (Bill) Monroe was born at
Rosine, Kentucky, on September 13, 1911, the youngest of eight children. Brother Charlie was next
youngest, having been born eight years earlier. This gap, coupled with Bill\'s poor eyesight, inhibited the
youngest son from many of the usual play activities and gave him an introverted nature which carried
through into later life.
Aside from his musical family, one of Monroe\'s early influences was a black musician from Rosine,
Arnold Schultz. Bill would gig with him and rated him a fine musician with an unrivalled feel for the
blues. At this time he also started to hear gramophone records featuring such performers as Charlie Poole
and the North Carolina Ramblers.
In 1934, Radio WLS in Chicago, for whom the three brothers (Birch on fiddle, Charlie on guitar, and Bill
on mandolin) had been working on a semi-professional basis, offered them full-time employment. Birch
decided to give up music, but Charlie and Bill reforemed as the Monroe Brothers. In 1938, they went their
separate ways. Bill formed the Kentuckians and moved to Radio KARK, Atlanta Georgia, where the first
of the Blue Grass Boys line-ups was evolved. Bill also began to sing lead and to take mandolin solos
rather than just remaining part