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The traditional gospel, bluegrass, and mountain music heard today was passed down from the generations and lives on through a wealth of musicians and instrument makers along the Crooked Road Heritage Trail.
The Southwest Blue Ridge Highlands city of Bristol — the location of the first country music recordings made for national distribution — has been called the "Birthplace of Country Music." And in 1998, Congress made it official!
Visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Check out the 1937 Art Deco Paramount Center for the Arts while you're in town, too.
Going west on U.S. Route 58, visit the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons. The Carter Family was discovered in 1927 by Victor Recording Studio in Bristol and recorded 300 songs between 1927 and 1942. If you happen to be there on a Saturday night, don't miss the show, where, in the words of A.P. Carter . . . "This show is morally good with no cussing, drinking, or drugs allowed." A.P. Carter's old general store has been converted into a museum that houses the collections of A.P. Carter, his wife Sara and her cousin Maybelle were the pioneers of what was to become country music.
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