An Overview of the Development of Country Music

Many musicians in the Appalachians have been playing fiddle music for decades, yet the first country music recording contract wasn’t signed until 1927 in Bristol, Tennessee. Both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family joined Victor Records in this year.

Jimmie Rodgers entered the world in 1897, in the city of Meridian, Mississippi. Before his health began to fail, he worked on the railroads, but it wasn’t until later in life that he was able to pursue his passion for performing. In 1927, he went to where he had heard Victor Records was going to have a temporary recording facility. Right away, he was signed, and he kept making records and performing until his death in 1933.

Along with Hank Williams and Fred Rose, he was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1965. The Carter Family, who would go on to become one of the most popular country music bands of all time, also signed with Victor Records on the same day as Jimmie Rodgers. As far as we know, they stayed with Victor Records until 1936. They stayed together through divorce and continued making records for Decca until 1939. The band’s fortunes began to decline about this time, and after signing with Universal and then Victor Records again, they disbanded in 1941.

Country music was officially introduced to the rest of the country on that historic day in 1927. Both Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family received a lot of positive press and gained a large fan base, which ultimately boosted record sales. Many contemporary country music artists and bands credit the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers as key influences.