Volunteer Training, Virtual Events at
BCM Museum in February

Bristol, Tenn.-Va. (January 28, 2021) – This February, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is open to visitors (with health and safety guidelines in place), and asking for a little help from volunteers to welcome guests and for work behind the scenes.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, and that hasn’t changed during the pandemic,” said Dr. Rene Rodgers, Head Curator at the museum. “Though most of our outreach programming is online, we still need volunteers to help with operations at the museum in a wide range of areas both on the front lines and behind the scenes. Our Virtual Museum Volunteer Training breaks down all the areas of interest, and lets potential volunteers find the path that most interests them.”

Virtual Museum Volunteer Training will take place on Monday, February 1, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST via Zoom. Those interested are urged to check out the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org for more information. To sign up for the session, send an email to volunteercoordinator@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org.

The second edition of the museum’s Virtual Speaker SeriesBefore Coal Miner’s Daughters and Many-Colored Coats: Pioneering Women in Country Music, takes place February 1 at 7:00 p.m. EST and highlights some of the often overlooked ladies of early country music. Musician and WBCM Radio Bristol show host Bailey George discusses little known trailblazers such as Louise Massey, Cousin Emmy, Molly O’Day, Jenny Lou Carson, and Lulu Belle Wiseman. The event is free, but you must register through the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

On Friday, February 5 at 11:00 a.m. EST the museum will release a new edition of its Virtual Story Time for families and children, featuring the book How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, based on a Native American folktale and written by Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac, and illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey. And then on Friday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m. EST, our Virtual Story Time program will share Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton and illustrated by Brooke Boynton-Hughes. Both installments will include a fun word or reading activity after the reading. Participants may access Virtual Story Time via the Museum from Home link on the museum’s website at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org/museum and on BCM’s YouTube channel.

There’s plenty of time to read The Devil’s Dream by Grundy, Virginia native Lee Smith, the latest book to be discussed on the next Radio Bristol Book Club Thursday, February 25 at 11:00 a.m. EST. Though the Book Club doesn’t meet in person, “members” are encouraged to read along each month and tune in to the show at ListenRadioBristol.org and email their questions and comments to info@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org using the subject line “Radio Bristol Book Club Comments” so their thoughts can be included on the monthly program.

Visit The Museum Store to pick up weekend passes to the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, scheduled for September 10-12, or purchase online at BristolRhythm.com; you can also take advantage of the event’s payment plan option. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tanya Tucker, Blackberry Smoke, Yola, and others are set to lead the lineup with more acts to be announced in the spring. Stay tuned!

Finally, there’s still time to visit the museum’s special exhibits Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972-1981, featuring the photographs of Henry Horenstein, A Selection of Hard Rock’s Country Music Memorabilia, and two poster exhibits commemorating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage. However, for those wary of venturing out during the pandemic, BCM continues to offer Museum from Home for those looking for fun and educational activities while staying at home.

For more information about everything the Birthplace of Country Music has to offer, visit BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.



Celebrating the Women of Early Country Music
Join the Conversation with Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s
Virtual Speaker Series Feb. 2

Bristol, Tenn./Va. (January 26, 2021) – Louise Massey. Cousin Emmy. Molly O’Day. These names may not be familiar to you, but they helped pave the way for today’s ladies of country music. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum celebrates these often overlooked pioneers of the country music genre, and many others, in its next Virtual Speaker Series entitled “Before Coal Miner’s Daughters and Many-Colored Coats: Pioneering Women in Country Music.”

Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. EST guest speaker Bailey George, who has been collecting and researching country music since he was 11 years old (he’s now 23), will lead the fascinating discussion on the impact of these pioneering female artists, musicians, writers, and performers. Bailey is himself a local musician and host of WBCM Radio Bristol’s Honky Tonk Hit Parade.

“Country music has always been filled with fantastically talented female artists and an especially prolific period was the Radio Barn Dance era from the mid-1920s to the late 1940s,” said Bailey. “For years the stories of these pioneers have been obscured by the Nashville-centric country music industry. It’s time we shed some light on these trailblazing musicians!”

Traditionally the role and widespread recognition of women in country music has been relegated to a handful of superstars who rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s. But female country artists have been making their mark since the beginnings of country music recording. The impact of these early artists has been somewhat overshadowed by flashier, pop-oriented female entertainers in recent years, but without these trailblazing recordings, the country music industry as we know it would not exist.

Bailey George’s Honky Tonk Hit Parade explores country music from the 1940s and 1950s, and airs each Wednesday 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST on Radio Bristol at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, through the free Radio Bristol mobile app and at ListenRadioBristol.org. Archived episodes of the program are also found at that web address.

The March Virtual Speaker Series, on Tuesday, March 2, will feature Alona Norwood and William Isom discussing the work of Black in Appalachia and the importance of amplifying Black narratives and histories.

The Virtual Speaker Series is free and open to the pubic, but you must pre-register to join the Zoom program. To do so, visit the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

About Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, explores the history of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and their lasting impact on our music heritage. From the Bristol Sessions and beyond, our region continues to influence music around the world.

The museum is located at 101 Country Music Way (corner of Moore & Cumberland Streets) in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia. Through multiple theater experiences, film and sound, and interactive, technology-infused displays – along with a variety of educational programs, music programs, and community events – the exciting story of this music and its far-reaching influence comes alive. Rotating exhibitions from other organizations and  institutions, including the Smithsonian, are featured throughout the year in the Special Exhibits Gallery. The museum is also home to a digital archive.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and most major holidays; call ahead for clarification at 423-573-1927.



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