The 1927 Bristol Sessions and Ralph Peer: A Myth and A Legend Losing Luster in the Cold Light of Recent Scholarship

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Excerpt: The so-called 1927 Bristol sessions—the recording sessions conducted in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia, during July-August 1927 by A&R (Artists & Repertoire) producer Ralph Peer and his employer, the Victor Talking Machine Company—garnered relatively little attention until the 1970s. At that point, a few scholars (notably, music historians Charles K. Wolfe, Bill C. Malone, Tony Russell, and Nolan Porterfield) and some serious music fans began to view this long-ago event in a small Appalachian city as one of the most important recording sessions of all time.