Marty Stuart, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, & More Team Up with Circle Network for New Documentary ‘Born in Bristol’

by Clayton Edwards

The landscape of American music changed forever in the summer of 1927. Between July 25th and August 5th of that year, Ralph Peer came to Bristol, Tennessee to capture recordings of “Hillbilly Music” for the Victor Talking Machine Company. The Bristol Sessions would come to be known as the “Big Bang of Country Music” and gave us some of the first country stars. The Stonemans, The Carter Family, and Jimmie Rodgers made their marks on the world in those sessions. Now, Circle Network is telling the story of the genre’s birth like no one else could with the new documentary Born in Bristol: The Untold Story of the Birth of Country Music.

Earlier today, Circle Network released the official trailer for Born in Bristol. It gives us a taste of what we can expect when the documentary premiers on July 30th. We’ll get black-and-white reenactments of some of the pivotal moments of the genre’s birth. Additionally, we’ll hear current stars like Eric Church and country icons like Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, and Marty Stuart discuss the importance of those days in the summer of 1927.

Country Stars Speak on the Bristol Sessions

In the trailer for Born in Bristol, we get glimpses of some of the stars that took part in the documentary. The lineup of artists proves that the team behind the film did their homework.

Marty Stuart – an icon, historian, and preservationist – summed up the importance of The Bristol Sessions. “The Bristol Sessions was kind of the formal ‘how do you do’ to the world.”

Eric Church expanded on this. “It was the first time it was recorded, it was documented and it was the Bible of country music. It’s still the Bible of country music.”

Dolly Parton, a lifelong resident of Appalachia and all-around icon also spoke about what the Bristol Sessions mean to her. “My heart goes back to this. It’s kind of in my Smoky Mountain DNA.”

Born In Bristol Marks a New Direction for Circle Network

Circle Network is, was, and will forever be rooted in country music. In its inception, the network focused solely on music programming. Now, though, they’ve shifted and plan to examine the lifestyle that surrounds the genre, according to Circle’s SVP of content Evan Haiman.

During a chat with Outsider, Haiman said that Born in Bristol is the latest lifestyle-oriented program on the network. It comes after Landmarks: Stages of Country Music, a series that catalogs the genre’s most iconic venues, and More Life which showcases the life and legacy of Randy Travis.

In the future, Circle Network will release films, documentaries, and series that delve into the lifestyle around country music. Additionally, they’ll still have plenty of music content to go around.

Listen to the Soundtrack Now

During the Born in Bristol trailer, you’ll see several current artists in the recording booth and hear Ashley Campbell (daughter of Glen Campbell) talk about re-recording the songs from the Bristol Sessions. A star-studded list of country artists did just that, but you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to hear it.

The Carl Jackson-produced Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited is available to stream right now. According to Evan Haiman, Marty Stuart, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, and many more recorded the album back in 2015. Additionally, they taped their interviews for Born in Bristol.

Currently, you can listen to Orthophonic Joy on all streaming services and on CD. Unfortunately, this collection of contemporary artists revisiting the seminal recordings of country music is not on vinyl at this time.

Watch Born in Bristol

Born in Bristol comes to Circle Network on July 30th. Head to the Circle Network website for information on how you can find the channel on cable, antenna, satellite, smart TV, and mobile devices.