Our Mission

Why We Exist

The Birthplace of Country Music seeks to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate Bristol’s rich musical heritage; to educate and engage audiences worldwide regarding the history, impact, and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions from which we derive our name; and to create recognition, opportunities, and economic benefit for our local and regional communities.

Our Vision

The Future We Desire

The Museum, Festival, and Radio branches that comprise the Birthplace of Country Music organization are all successful, respected, popular, and acclaimed, and are having a significantly positive impact on Bristol and its surrounding region – both economically and in creating recognition of Bristol’s place in the history of music.

The Legacy

In the summer of 1927, just two months after Charles Lindbergh made the first flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis and during the summer that Babe Ruth was blasting out 60 home runs for the Yankees, record producer Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company was making music history in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia. Between July 25 and August 5 of that year, Peer conducted recording sessions using the new Western Electric electronic microphone during which 19 performers and groups recorded 76 songs. Those sessions – the now famous “Bristol Sessions” – have also been called the “Big Bang” of modern country music, and Johnny Cash considered them “the single most important event in the history of country music.”

The Sessions featured the first recordings of Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family. Rodgers is now referred to as the “Father of Country Music” and was the first person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Carter Family, featuring A. P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter, is now known as “The First Family of Country Music” and are also in the Hall of Fame. The 1927 Bristol Sessions not only initiated the careers of these superstar performers, but originated the broad commercialization of country music. Many of the songs and stylings of those sessions still resonate and influence the music of today. For these reasons, the United States Congress officially designated Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia as the “Birthplace of Country Music” in 1998.

Why Support Us?

Because…

You Believe in Our Mission & Vision

We need your help to accomplish our Mission and progress towards our Vision. Seeing your name displayed in the Museum tells everyone you are a vital part of our work and legacy.

You See Our Impact and What We Have Accomplished So Far

We have a highly successful Festival that has a tremendous economic impact on our region, a well respected Museum built without a major capital campaign, and a Radio Station that is being streamed worldwide.

Museums Must Be Supported by Their Community

The Museum is a jewel of Bristol and needs support from the community. According to the American Alliance of Museums, the average museum in the US earns about 27% of its revenue from earned income (admissions, store sales, rentals, etc.). The rest must come from all levels of government support and private charitable giving.

We Are Creating an Even Better Place to Live, Work, and Play

Few Bristolians and others from our region can experience our high-tech Museum without feeling a strong sense of pride. Music lovers and artists cite the Festival as one of their favorite experiences. We have played a major role in the revival of Historic Downtown Bristol, and businesses state that the Museum and Festival play a major role in their decision to locate downtown.

We Impact Children in Important Ways

Through education, outreach and programming, we help introduce students to the arts, thereby stimulating creative and innovative thinking that will aid them in whatever life path they choose to follow. Teaching students about the important role Bristol has played in the history of American music instills hometown and regional pride.

We Are Doing It Right

We have a dedicated staff, a volunteer Board of Directors, and numerous active volunteers who are working diligently to operate our business in accordance with best practices. We have comprehensive business plans for the Festival, Museum, and Radio Station as well as an overarching business plan for the entire organization. Our governance policies and other governance documents are current and strong.

BCM is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation - That Needs to be Profitable

Gifts to BCM are tax deductible. As a nonprofit organization, any profits received must go back into the organization to further its mission. We must be profitable to be sustainable, to grow, and to continuously improve.

1927 Society

The 1927 Society is the primary giving society for individuals, couples, and families. Membership is based on support given during a rolling 12-month period. All members are featured on the Donor Wall in the museum.

Below you can find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of The 1927 Society as well as all of the current members.

THE 1927 SOCIETY GIVING LEVELS AND BENEFITS

Fan

$250-$499

Advocate

$500-$999

Promoter

$1000-$2499

Ambassador

$2500-$4999

Benefactor

$5000-$9999

Champion

$10,000+

1927 Society membership card that allows unlimited entry to the Museum

Listed at level in Donor Display at Museum, in newsletter, and on website

1927 Society newsletter

1927 Society decal and lapel pin

Single-day Museum passes to share with others

6

10

12

20

25

30

Smithsonian membership*

Opportunity to purchase a limited number of Festival tickets at lowest available price

2

4

6

8

12

20

Invitation to 1927 Society Concert Series

Contribution will count toward inclusion in the Unbroken Circle Society

Advance purchase opportunities and discounts on select events

10% discount at The Museum Store

Single discounted rental at Museum (based on availability)

5%

10%

20%

25%

50%

Complimentary weekend Festival tickets

2

4

6

8

Complimentary tickets (2) to quarterly 1927 Society Concert Series

THE 1927 SOCIETY MEMBERS

Champion – $10,000+

  • Beverly Fanning
  • Marvin & Marcia Gilliam
  • Rob Nicar
  • Terry & Larry Kirksey
  • John & Ann Tickle
  • Anonymous

Benefactor – $5,000-$9,999

  • Jim & Kay Bunn
  • Bill & Rose Marie Burriss
  • Edd Hill
  • Keith & Bonnie Liskey
  • Anna Morgan
  • Mike & Linda Riley
  • Don & Ginia Shawl
  • Michael & Nita Vollmer
  • Scott & Brenda White

Ambassador – $2,500-$4,999

    • Joe & Sandy Armstrong
    • Bill & Andrea Ford
    • Robin & Jill Harrison
    • Richard & Peggy Horner
    • Tom & Sandy McGlothlin
    • Todd & Crystal Peak
    • Rush & Lea Powers
    • Mike & Debbie Quillen
    • Jim & Linda Rainero
    • Thomas & Barbara Smith
    • Spike & Lisa Tickle
    • George A. Whitley

Promoter – $1,000-$2,499

  • Dr. N.L. & Gay C. Adams
  • Tim & Lisa Alderman
  • Ed & Pamela Balaban
  • Jeff & Amy Benedict
  • Dan & Nell Bieger
  • Bob & Joday Blevins
  • Pete & Melanie Buhls
  • Scott & Connie Bullock
  • Mark & Lisa Cofer
  • Ben & Anne Cowan
  • John & Peggy Cowan
  • John & Barb Dahlquist
  • Jasen & Christy Eige
  • Jim & Sharron Elliott
  • John & Brenda Fincher
  • Nelson & Deborah Gwaltney
  • Ken & Cindy Hale
  • John & Harriett Harty
  • Larry Hodge
  • Lucyann Jewell
  • Seldon Johnson
  • Thomas & Leigh King
  • Zachary & Emily Lee
  • David & Peg Lester
  • Myers & Jan Massengill
  • Logan & Alison McCabe
  • Phil McFarlane
  • Charles & Mary Beth Rainero
  • Stevan & Butch Rainero
  • Joseph & Dana Robinette
  • Thomas & Beth Rogers
  • Leah & John Ross
  • Dale & Joneen Sargent
  • H.D. & Mary Lynn Satterwhite
  • Fred & Judy Slaughter
  • Mike & Karen Spear
  • Dr. Donna Stidham
  • Jeff & Robin Tickle
  • Maureen & Jim Tilley
  • John & Karen Vann
  • John & Vicki Ward
  • Bill & Billie Whisnant
  • Robin Wilson
  • Harry & Susan Williams
  • Janet Woolwine
  • Sarfraz & Audrey Zaidi
  • Anonymous

Advocate – $500-$999

  • Tony & Emily Anderson
  • Vann & Rebecca Avirett
  • Jane  Reynolds Bellamy
  • Thelma Blair
  • Christen Burkholder
  • Ken & Linda Brittle
  • Kimberly Brown
  • Theresa Burriss & James Werth Jr
  • Bob & Charlotte Campbell
  • Greg & Annette Cochran
  • John & Mary Connor
  • Dirk & Karen Crandell
  • Dwight Dailey
  • Mark & Susan Davis
  • Brian & Julia Davis
  • Ralph & Terri Davis
  • Brad & Bethany Deal
  • David & Nancy Deal
  • Preston & Jennifer Deal
  • Alisa Dishner
  • Joe & Ceil Dutton
  • Terrell & Nancy Estes
  • Katherine Evans
  • Dave & Patty Faulkner
  • Robin & Margaret Feierabend
  • Hugh & Annette Ferguson
  • Terry Fletcher
  • Rick & Diane Gentry
  • Frank Goodpasture III
  • Rick & Cindy Guthrie
  • Kim & Beattie Hearst
  • Patrick & Leigh Hull
  • Bill & Brenda Johnstone
  • Dale & Molly Keller
  • Ruth King
  • Becky Littleton
  • Clyde & Susan Long
  • Wade & Meredith Massie
  • Susan & Rogers McCall
  • William & Maureen Moffet
  • Rex Montgomery & Shari Brown
  • Joseph Moore
  • Bill & Beth Shumaker
  • Becky & Bill Smith
  • Bill & Denice Smith
  • Bill & Karen Sorah
  • Stephen & Beth Spangler
  • Ed & Linda Stout
  • Steve & Jessica Turner
  • Garry VanPool
  • Nancy A. Vernon
  • J. B. Weilepp
  • Jack & Janice Weisenburger
  • Tim Wells
  • Diane Wright

Fan – $250-$499

  • George & Karen Aprahamian
  • Jane Bachman
  • Glenn Barefoot & Janet Walters
  • Bobby & Tracie Blevins
  • Eric & Christina Blevins
  • David & Patty Browning
  • Jack & Nancy Butterworth
  • Scott & Janet Callahan
  • Charles & Nell Campbell
  • Bill & Patty Canter
  • Tommy Casteel
  • Darrell & Judy Cole
  • Patton & Mimi Coles
  • Paul & Diana Conco
  • Angela Cardwell-Cox
  • David & Joyce Crockett
  • Ron & Lois Crockett
  • Joel & Susan Cullum
  • Gene Downing
  • Erin & Butch Downs
  • Jay & Marianne Fischer
  • Charles Flannagan
  • W. David Fletcher
  • Rachel Fowlkes
  • John Ed & Jackie Fuller
  • Mary E. Geiger
  • Fred Mozenter & Debra Graner
  • Anita Greene
  • Dr. Bobby Griffin
  • Archie & Gwen Hubbard
  • Lawrence Inscho
  • Sherri Jessee
  • Arthur & Rebecca Kaufmann
  • Joe & Pat Lawson
  • Sara & Klyne Lauderback
  • Todd & Melissa Liskey
  • Scott MacMorran
  • Lisa Martin
  • Tammy Martin
  • Melissa Massengill
  • Ryan & Meredith Mathesius
  • Catherine Hausman & Miles Marek
  • Roger & Karen McSharry
  • Barbara Niemczak
  • Joyce & Sid Oakley
  • Leno & Jan Rainero
  • Neel Rich
  • Jackie Ringersma
  • John & Elaine Rock
  • Craig & Brennan Rockett
  • Rene Rodgers
  • Robert & Joyce Rodgers
  • Sam & Amy Shuttle
  • Terrie Smith-Talbert
  • Brent & Katie Treash
  • S. Smith Wham
  • Becky Wilkerson
  • David Winship
  • Dan & Bonnie Witcher
  • Marshall & Minta Wood

Giving Societies

For Individuals, Couples, and Families

CURRENT, CUMULATIVE, AND FUTURE

BCM’s three giving societies were created to recognize annual, cumulative, and planned giving by our generous supporters who believe in BCM’s mission and want to help us achieve our vision.

The 1927 Society

The 1927 Society, which is detailed in the above section, is for individuals, couples, and families. Membership is based on giving during a rolling 12-month period.

The Unbroken Circle Society

The Unbroken Circle Society is a cumulative giving society for individuals (including couples and families) designed to recognize the impact an individual has made over his or her lifetime. Individuals do not give separately to gain entry into this society. Annual gifts that qualify individuals for the 1927 Society add up over the years for qualification to the various levels of the Unbroken Circle Society.

The Legacy Society

The Legacy Society is designed to recognize those individuals whose gifts will benefit BCM in the future through estate gifts or other planned giving opportunities.

Below you can find information regarding all of the different ways you can participate as an individual, couple or family in the mission and vision of the Birthplace of Country Music.

BENEFIT
Member’s name will appear on the permanent Donor Wall display in the Museum and website and will reflect increases in giving over time.

Unbroken Circle Giving Levels

Artist

$5,000 - $9,999

Rising Star

$10,000 - $19,999

Headliner

$20,000 - $49,999

Legend

$50,000 - $99,999

Hall of Fame

$100,000+

Hall of Fame – $100,000+

  • Joe & Cindy Gregory
  • Paul & Julie Hopper Thomas

Legend – $50,000-$99,999

  • John & Ann Tickle

Headliner – $20,000-$49,999

  • Frank & Nancy DeFriece
  • Beverly Fanning
  • John & Brenda Fincher
  • Marvin & Marcia Gilliam
  • Edd Hill
  • Anonymous
  • Larry Kirksey & Terry Smith
  • Keith & Bonnie Liskey
  • Rob Nicar
  • Mike & Debbie Quillen
  • Clark Thomas & Kay Shannon
  • Michael & Nita Vollmer

Rising Star – $10,000-$19,999

  • Bill & Rose Marie Burriss
  • Allen C. Clark
  • Daris Clifton
  • Ben & Anne Cowan
  • Tom & Becca Davenport
  • David & Nancy Deal
  • Shelburne & Beulah Ferguson
  • Karen Hester
  • John & Rebecca Matney
  • Myers & Jan Massengill
  • Anna Morgan
  • Rush & Lea Powers
  • Charles & Mary Beth Rainero
  • Mike & Linda Riley
  • Don & Ginia Shawl
  • Thomas & Barbara Smith
  • Jeff Walling
  • Scott & Brenda White
  • Janet Woolwine

Artist – $5,000-$9,999

  • Jeff & Amy Benedict
  • Dan & Nell Bieger
  • Jim & Kay Bunn
  • John & Barbara Dahlquist
  • Bill & Andrea Ford
  • Fred Gent
  • Ed & Jennie Gerace
  • Ruth Goodpasture
  • Leton Harding
  • Robin & Jill Harrison
  • Bill & Harriet Hartley
  • Richard & Peggy Horner
  • Thomas & Leigh King
  • Clyde & Susan Long
  • Tom & Sandy McGlothlin
  • Todd & Crystal Peak
  • John & Leah Ross
  • Sam & Amy Shuttle
  • Fred & Judy Slaughter
  • Jeff & Robin Tickle
  • Spike & Lisa Tickle
BENEFIT
Member’s name will appear on a display at the Museum and on the website.

The Legacy Giving Structure

Inclusion in the Legacy Society begins at a planned gift of $10,000 or more in wills, estate plans, or other forms of planned giving.

  • Lawrence Inscho

Bristol Sessions Leadership Circle

For Businesses and Organizations

Our Bristol Sessions Leadership Circle was created to recognize the generous support of businesses, organizations, and foundations that provide essential support to our organization. The Bristol Sessions Leadership Circle is based on direct support to the Birthplace of Country Music’s annual operating fund. Underwriting and Sponsorships do not qualify.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or underwriter please CLICK HERE.

Supporter

$250-$499

Partner

$500-$999

Investor

$1,000-$4,999

Builder

$5,000-$9,999

Leader

$10,000-$14,999

Pillar

$15,000-$24,999

Cornerstone

$25,000+

Listed at level in Donor Display at Museum and on website

One-day Museum passes to share with others

2

6

12

25

30

40

50

Opportunity to purchase a limited number of Festival tickets at lowest available price

2

4

6

12

20

30

40

Family membership card that allows unlimited entry to BCMM, and other associated member benefits

1

1

2

3

4

5

6

Individual Smithsonian membership

1

1

2

3

4

5

6

Invitation to special exhibit openings

Discount on select events and advance purchase opportunities

Complimentary Festival weekend pass

2

4

6

8

10

Single discounted rental at Museum (based on availability)

10% off

25% off

50% off

75% off

FREE

Donor Wall