Press - Mojo Magazine
Various ***** The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp
BEAR FAMILY CD Flawlessly curated box set of landmark Brunswick, Vocation recordings from Knoxville, Tennessee. The third in a trilogy of Bear Family sets documenting the Appala-chian music scene at the end of the 1920s, this 4-CD collection, with a superb hardback book by Ted Olson and Tony Russell, show-cases the wide variety of talent captured during two extended sessions at Knoxville's St James Hotel. Hillbilly string band Ridgel's Fountain Citians sang fine barn-shakers like Baby Call Your Dog Off -
Press - heraldcourier.com - Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2016 2:22 am
BY TOM NETHERLAND SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Neither the Carter Family nor Howard Armstrong will literally return from the dead anytime soon. Likewise Appalachia circa late 1920s. However, with the recent completion of Bear Family Records’ trio of boxed sets, each elevates in the public eye.
Windows opened to Appalachian times and people long gone by when Germany’s Bear Family zeroed in on the Bristol Sessions. Its complete recordings box set, “The Bristol Sessions: The Big Bang of Country Music 1927-1928,” in 2011 proved revelatory.
Maybelle Carter as best she could returned from the grave. Music arose from a forgotten heap. Culture rebranded as honorable.
East Tennessee State University professor Ted Olson shepherded the Bristol Sessions and subsequent complete recordings sets from the John-son City and Knoxville Sessions in a number of ways. He served as reissue producer, wrote liner notes and researched each of the three monumental collections.
“It was a labor of love,” said Olson over lunch last week at Yee-Haw Brewery. “Bear Family spared no expense.”
Press - Swedish Country Music Magazine
Bear Family fortsätter sin kultur-gärning med att ge ut CD-boxar på hillbillyinspelningar. Tidigare har de gett ut inspelningarna från städerna Bristol resp. Johnson City.
Press - The Knoxville Sessions 1929 - 1930, Knox Country Stomp (4-CD Deluxe Box Set)- Johnson City Press
What do Rihanna, Justin Bieber and a professor from East Tennessee State University have in common?
They’ve all been nominated for a Grammy award this year. In different categories, of course. Ted Olson, a professor in the ETSU Appalachian Studies Department, and Tony Russell, a music historian from London, recently received a Grammy nomination for the album notes they wrote for a box set about the Knoxville sessions: "The Knoxville Sessions 1929-1930, Knox County Stomp."
Press - The Knoxville Sessions 1929 - 1930, Knox Country Stomp (4-CD Deluxe Box Set)- Amazon
By Lee Knight on December 8, 2016
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Knoxville Sessions continue the fine production of the previously released "The Bristol Sessions" and "The Johnson City Sessions."
Press - The Knoxville Sessions 1929 - 1930, Knox Country Stomp Grammy Nomination MVD
BEAR FAMILY'S 'The Knoxville Sessions 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp' (Various Artists), a 4-CD Deluxe Box Set released earlier this year, has been nominated for a 2017 Grammy award in the "Best Album Notes" category. The album is the third compendium of early country music talent in Appalachia, along with 'The Bristol Sessions' and 'The Johnson City Sessions'.
Press - The Knoxville Sessions 1929 - 1930, Knox Country Stomp Grammy Nomination
We knew it was a big deal, back in May, when the German reissue label Bear Family released the four-CD box set Knox County Stomp: The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930. The exhaustive set collects more than 100 tracks recorded at the St. James Hotel and other locations in downtown Knoxville during the tail end of the first great era of commercial sound recording.
The Knoxville Sessions Finalists for the 2017 ARSC Awards for Excellence
The Association for Recorded Sound Collections is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. Winners will be announced in September 2017, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in May 2018, during ARSC’s annual conference. Additional information about the conference and the ARSC Awards for Excellence can be found at www.arsc-audio.org.
Press - The Knoxville Sessions 1929 - 1930, Knox Country Stomp - arsc Journal
The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-30: Knox County Stomp. Bear Family Records BCD16097 (4 CDs, with 156 page hardcover book).
Veteran old-time music scholars, writers, and producers Tony Russell and Ted Olson have teamed up again with the Bear Family label to present The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-30: Knox County Stomp, the complete recordings made at the St. James Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Brunswick/Vocalion Records. The sessions were an attempt by Vocalion, one of several record companies trying to capitalize on the new and developing market for country music, to record music on location in strategically chosen Southern cities, rather than to recruit artists to their studios in New York City, a much more challenging prospect.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists Tell It To Me - The Johnson City Sessions - Revisted (CD) - JP's Music BlogRevisit The Johnson City Sessions With New "Tell It To Me" Compilation
Back in 2013, the Bear Family Records label released the award-winning box set "The Johnson City Sessions: Can You Sing Or Play Old-Time Music?" It featured songs from the Columbia Records archives that were recorded in Johnson City, Tennessee between 1928 and 1929. On August 2nd, the Bear Family Records released a new 26-song condensed version of that set, which highlights mainly the essential tracks, in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Johnson City Sessions.
The set features some of the earliest recordings for Columbia Records as artists like Clarence Greene ("Johnson City Blues") and Jack Johnson ("I'm Just A Black Sheep") showcase the basics of the blues. You also get that one-of-a-kind classic country twang with artists like Grant Brothers ("Tell It To Me Baby") and Charlie Bowman ("Roll On Buddy"). The classic folk strumming of George Roark ("I Ain't A Bit Drunk") and Roy Harvey with Leonard Copeland ("Just Pickin'") will quicken your pulse with their swift guitar playing. It's nice to take a step back from today's modern music to appreciate the tunes and melodies that helped shaped these forms of music that we have come to love. To find out more about this new release "Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929," from Bear Family Records, please visit bear-family.com.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists Tell It To Me - The Johnson City Sessions - Revisted (CD) - cashboxmusicreviews
Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929
Bear Family/MVD 2019
Review by David Bowling
It's time to climb into the time machine and visit a long-gone musical era. During the late 1920's and early 1930's, various record labels would visit different areas of the country, conduct musical try-outs, and then record the best of those who auditioned.
The Victor, Okeh, and Columbia labels all visited the Appalachian area of the United States. The best known of these auditions was Victor's 1927 Bristol Sessions, which produced the first commercial recordings of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Several years later Columbia recorded 100 songs by various artists. While these sessions may not have produced any great stars; they do form a vital link to the development of American music.
Several years ago a 4-CD box set was released that included the entire Johnson City Sessions. Now Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Session 1928-1929 has been issued. It is a more manageable release, in that it includes 26 tracks by 26 different artists.
While the artists contained on this CD have mostly disappeared into musical history; the music they left behind forms the beginnings of American country, bluegrass, and rockabilly music, and helped sow the seeds of rock and roll.
Songs and artists such as "When The Roses Bloom For The Bootlegger" by McVay & Johnson, "Just Over The River" by Garland Brothers & Grindstead, "Green Valley Waltz" by McCartt Brothers & Patterson, "Just Pickin'" by Roy Harvey & Leonard Copeland, "Buttermilk Blues" by Ellis Williams, and "The Battleship Maine" by Richard Harold are raw, basic, and recorded during a very non-technological age. The songs include guitars, fiddles, mandolins, banjos, washboards, spoons, and just about anything else that could be used to create sounds.
The sound is nowhere near modern standards. Recorded in an empty store building; every once in a while you can hear a train whistle or sounds from a lumber company in the background.
Whether this music will appeal to you depends on your commitment to the roots of American music. If you are so inclined, Tell It To Me: Revisiting The Johnson City Sessions 1928-1929 will be a treasure trove that leads to a captivating historical journey.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists Tell It To Me - The Johnson City Sessions - oltimereviews
Some of the included tracks here make it seem obvious why the Bristol Sessions are considered seminal and these are not so well known. The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers are perhaps more individual in hindsight and their influence can be traced clearly and strong through the generations of future artists and musicians. However, here we find examples of the music of the people, which is as fine and representative of the people of the day living in those rural areas as was the work of the Carters and Rodgers.
There is quite a shortage of female voice here. That is possibly the only thing which sticks out as unusual. Otherwise, the 26 artist names also bring to mind charmingly a bygone world. There are names and song titles which bring vibrancy and life to a time long gone. Despite this evocation, this music feels as fresh today as ever.
Presse - DYNAMITE MAGAZIN 11/12 - 14 Auflage 15.000 BCD16094
East Tennessee State University
This essay considers the Bristol, TN/VA (1927-1928) and Johnson City, TN (1928- 1929) Sessions recordings released by the Bear Family label, as well as recordings, made by linguist Joseph Hall in the 1930s, of musical performances by residents of the Smokies in eastern Tennessee and west- ern North Carolina. I also consider here a collection of performances, by contempor- ary artists, of songs that Hall recorded in the 1930s. This essay is informed by my experience as a musician who has listened to, played, and written about the string- based vernacular music often called “old time music.” Like others who style them- selves connoisseurs of this music, I have paid careful attention to the content and context of recordings like those I consider here. I am particularly interested in these recordings since they are part of my current local environment; I currently live near the sites of these recordings, my work as a per- former and teacher involves using these recordings, and I work with people who were involved in the production of these collections. I chose these four collections because I am curious about what sense of place they afford other aficionados of old time music. My experiences with these recordings lead me to consider the larger question of how contemporary audiences and producers of old time music consume, engage, and create a sense of place through their music-making (listening, performing, mediating, etc.). As a participant-observer in old-time music-making circles, I have observed that we seem very concerned with place.
Presse Archiv - Various Artists Tell It To Me - Johnson City recording sessions earns Pinnacle Award
JOHNSON CITY (July 10, 2020) – “Tell It to Me: The Johnson City Sessions 90th Anniversary Celebration,” a two-day event held in Johnson City, on October 18-19, 2019, was named “Festival or Event of the Year” during the recent Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association’s Pinnacle Awards.
decorative image for Reaching a Pinnacle
Reaching a Pinnacle
"Tell It to Me: The Johnson City Sessions 90th Anniversary Celebration," held in October 2019, received the Pinnacle Award for "Festival or Event of the Year," which is the most competitive category in this annual competition sponsored by the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.
“Tell It to Me” celebrated the influential Johnson City Sessions, which were commercial recording sessions of Appalachian regional music conducted in downtown Johnson City in October 1928 and October 1929. Those recordings, released by Columbia Records at the dawn of the Great Depression, have inspired several generations of musicians in such genres as country, bluegrass, folk, rock and Americana. Until recently, though, there has been little public awareness that the recordings originated in Johnson City. The 2019 event was intended to generate broader awareness about the significance of those recordings locally and regionally as well as nationally and internationally.
The Pinnacle Awards program pays tribute to Northeast Tennessee’s peak performers in the tourism industry. According to NETTA’s website, nominations are reviewed by a panel of unbiased judges, and exemplary projects and individuals are selected as Pinnacle Award winners. NETTA Director Alicia Phelps said that the decision to award “Tell It to Me” the top Festival/Event honor “was a unanimous decision in what is always our most competitive category.”