Interviewed on Radio Bristol
My most recent novel, Lord of the Mountain, takes place in Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, where the “big bang” of country music took place in 1927. When I traveled there to research my story, I spent hours at the Bristol Public Library and at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution). At the museum I dug through wonderful documents and displays about the Bristol Sessions, where the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman, and other mothers and fathers of country music sang their songs for recording executive Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company.
Recently I was honored to be interviewed live on Radio Bristol, a joint Internet service of the library and museum, when my book was selected and read for the March 2020 meeting of the Radio Bristol Book Club. A brief excerpt of the interview is included below, along with a link to the entire interview.
Welcome, Ron. Our readers seem to have loved this book and the way you were able to capture so much of the feeling of the era. Talk about your initial inspiration for writing this book.
My wife and I moved to Nashville a number of years back, and I was never a big country music fan. But as I listened to more and more of the music, I became fascinated by the storytelling side of it and started doing some reading. I read a wonderful book, a biography of the Carter Family, called Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music, by Mark Zwonitzer and Charles Hirshberg. Reading that book, much of which took place in Bristol and the areas around it, I just fell in love with the time and the place and that family and their music. I started imagining what it would have been like for some young person growing up in Bristol to have been in town when the Bristol Sessions took place and, essentially, country music was born.
To hear the rest of the interview, click here and scroll down to “Show Archives.” Select Thursday, March 26, 2020.