The Virginia Tourism Corporation announced recently that they will be re-recording a groundbreaking 1927 album that was originally launched to promote new talent for a public that was buying the Orthoponic Victrola by the masses. It introduced more of Ernest Stoneman and the Carter Family. Now most folks call the Carter Family Country Music’s first family and in my opinion it was the Stonemans, however this album makes it a debatable subject of opinion.

Back In 1927 modern country music was born in Bristol, a city straddling the Virginia/Tennessee line, when Victor Records set up a temporary studio there to record area acts performing what was then known as “Hillbilly Music.” Musical families, singing quartets and gospel groups were among 19 acts that came out of the surrounding hills and hollows to record more than 70 songs. Sales of the resulting records went through the roof and established this rooted American music as mainstream.

I have studied this event for a little while now and it has been referred to as the “Big Bang Of Country Music” and has been regarded by folks like Marty Stuart as one of the most important events to have ever occurred in Country Music History. The importance of the Bristol Sessions were not lost on Sony Music which on May 12th released the 2 CD set Orthoponic Joy , a re-recording of 18 songs of the 1927 sessions by modern superstar artists including Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, Steve Martin, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Marty Stuart and the CD includes historical narration by Eddie Stubbs, longtime emcee at The Grand Old Opry.

Rusty Morrell acted on his idea to re-make the 1927 groundbreaking project, so he sat down with Rick Dollar from NetRadioDogs.com and Leah Ross the director of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to discuss the makings of this project and the wonderful place the City of Bristol is. Along with producer Carl Jackson this album shall prove to be a worthy project and I look forward to hearing this album which has 37 tracks, including 18 songs and 19 spoken word tracks that provide context.

You can purchase this album HERE. And here is the complete track listing:

Disc One
1.”Don’t Deny Yourself The Sheer Joy Of Orthophonic Music” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “I’m Redeemed” performed by The Alcoa Quartet) Eddie Stubbs – 4:22
2.”I’m Redeemed” (Traditional arrangement by Doyle Lawson) Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver – 4:06
3.”All They Needed Now Was Talent” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Bury Me Beneath The Willow” performed by The Carter Family) Eddie Stubbs – 3:29
4.”Bury Me Beneath The Willow'” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Emmylou Harris – 3:18
5.”Tonight He Is Playing The Old, Old Tune At Police Headquarters” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Black-Eyed Susie” performed by J.P. Nester & Norman Edmonds) Eddie Stubbs – 2:57
6.”Black-Eyed Susie” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Marty Stuart – 2:36
7.”An Early Tradition of Scrapping For Rights And Royalties” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “When They Ring Those Golden Bells” performed by Alfred G. Karnes) Eddie Stubbs – 2:12
8.”When They Ring Those Golden Bells” (Dion De Marbelle) (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Dolly Parton – 5:09
9.”I Wish I Had Some Rocks To Throw At Them” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “The Storms Are On The Ocean” performed by The Carter Family) Eddie Stubbs – 3:52
10.”The Storms Are On The Ocean” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Ashley Monroe – 3:48
11.”Any Song With A Story Will Go To The People’s Hearts” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “I Am Resolved” performed by Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers) Eddie Stubbs – 4:11
12.”I Am Resolved” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) The Shotgun Rubies – 3:38
13.”A Hoedown Social In A Mountain Cabin” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Sweet Heaven When I Die” performed by The Tenneva Ramblers) Eddie Stubbs – 3:08
14.”Sweet Heaven When I Die” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson, Steve Martin, and The Steep Canyon Rangers) Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers – 3:28
15.”Daddy Never Knew When He Would Come Up With An Idea For A Song” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “The Soldier’s Sweetheart” performed by Jimmie Rodgers) Eddie Stubbs – 3:21
16.”The Soldier’s Sweetheart” (Jimmie Rodgers) Vince Gill – 3:30
17.”Where The Blues Meets The Church” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “To The Work” performed by Alfred G. Karnes) Eddie Stubbs – 2:12
18.”To The Work” (Fannie J. Crosby & William H. Doane) Keb’ Mo’ – 3:23

Track listing 2[edit]

Disc Two
1.”Singers Who Had Not Visited Bristol During Their Entire Lifetime Arrived” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Where We’ll Never Grow Old” performed by Alfred G. Karnes) Eddie Stubbs – 2:13
2.”Where We’ll Never Grow Old” (James C. Moore) The Church Sisters – 4:56
3.”Love, Loss, And The Perils Of The Moonshine Business” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Darling Cora” performed by B.F. Shelton) Eddie Stubbs – 2:28
4.”Darling Cora” – (Traditional arrangement by Corbin Hayslett) Corbin Hayslett – 3:43
5.”Ramblers Riding The Longest Train I Ever Saw” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “The Longest Train I Ever Saw” performed by the Tenneva Ramblers) Eddie Stubbs – 1:59
6.”In The Pines” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Brad Paisley & Carl Jackson – 3:55
7.”Twenty-One Good Years At The Throttle” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “The Wreck Of The Virginian” performed by Blind Alfred Reed) Eddie Stubbs – 3:06
8.”The Wreck Of The Virginian” (Alfred Reed) Ashley & Shannon Campbell – 4:21
9.”Prized And Practical, Brutal Ballads” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Pretty Polly” performed by B.F. Shelton) Eddie Stubbs – 2:07
10.”Pretty Polly” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Carl Jackson – 5:49
11.”Tremendous Heart Punch And Appeal” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “The Wandering Boy” performed by The Carter Family) Eddie Stubbs 3:29
12.”The Wandering Boy” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) Sheryl Crow – 4:22
13.”Gotta Catch That Train” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Train On The Island” performed by J.P. Nester & Norman Edmonds) Eddie Stubbs – 1:51
14.”Train On The Island” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson & Larry Cordle) Larry Cordle & The Virginia Luthiers – 2:21
15.”History Saws And Strums Along With Itself” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “Johnny Goodwin” performed by the Bull Mountain Moonshiners) Eddie Stubbs – 2:15
16.”Johnny Goodwin/The Girl I Left Behind” (Traditional arrangement by Jesse McReynolds & Carl Jackson) Jesse McReynolds & Carl Jackson – 2:32
17.”Introducing The Orthophonic Choir” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “At The River” performed by the Tennessee Mountaineers) 2:05
18.”Shall We Gather At The River” (Traditional arrangement by Carl Jackson) The Chuck Wagon Gang & The Orthophonic Choir – 3:22
19.”The Birthplace Of Country Music” (Narrative: Cindy Lovell; Background score: “I’m Redeemed” performed by the Alcoa Quartet, “At The River” performed by Tennessee Mountaineers, and “Shall We Gather AT The River” (Refrain) performed by The Chuck Wagon Gang & The Orthophonic Choir) Eddie Stubbs 2:44

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