Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia: Country Music

Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, is the smallest stop on our trip, but it may be the most unique. Essentially, the city of Bristol lies on the border between the state of Tennessee and Virginia in the United States. In short, the boundaries of both states run parallel on State Street in the middle of downtown Bristol. With a population of about 26,000, Bristol is a small community. Nevertheless, although it is small in size, Bristol is historically the birthplace of country music.

Although most individuals familiar with country music would guess Nashville as its birthplace, Bristol provided the first ever music recordings in the style of country. Basically, country music is a genre that developed in the Southern part of the United States in the 1920’s. In short, country music gained its roots from older western, cowboy, and folk music. It typically has a slower tempo and is centered around a melody by a vocalist. Additionally, country music is performed by a group that consists of banjos, guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas. Thus, with such a simple, rootsy style; it is easy to see why country music still remains popular today.


Click on the link for the interactive map.

Click Here for Map

Photo Tours

Bristol Photo Tour - Visit Bristol through a photo tour of the people, places, and sights of this historic city. Just click on a picture and a larger version will appear. The link will open a new browser window.

Country Music Artists - View photos,discography, videos, and news about famous country artists. Just click on an artist's name to see their bios. The link will open a new browser window.

Audio Sample

Click play on the audio player to hear a sample of Country music.

Ken Maynard - Lone Star Trail

Video of Country Music

Click on the image below to watch part of a performance by the Don Kelley Band, one of the country music scenes' greatest bands. In this clip, you will hear a traditional sound with traditional country instruments in a traditional country setting.

Video of Country Music