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Fred McClellan to Speak on Bristol's Country Music Heritage

May 03, 2011

In recent decades Bristol has claimed the mantle as the “Birthplace of Country Music”. All genres of country music can now be heard throughout Bristol from bistros to multiple stages during Bristol’s Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Yes, live music is making an impact on the Bristol economy, but where did it all come from and what is the oft heard “Big Bang of Country Music”? Fred McClellan, the founding president of the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, will present a program on “Bristol’s Country Music Heritage”, addressing the Bristol Historical Association. This presentation will be held on Monday, May 9th, 6:30pm at the Bristol Public Library.

McClellan has a long history with re-establishing interest in country music in Bristol. Aside from serving as the founding president of BCMA in the Twin Cities in 1993 he is currently on the board of directors of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and was the executive producer of the 2007 Mountain Stage HDTV Special. Before moving to the Bristol area he served as the president of the Norton YMCA, vice president of the Norton Jaycees and founder of Clinch Valley College Small Business Development Center. Professionally, McClellan is a realtor for Callebs Realty and until recently the president and owner of Hillbilly Foods. He lives in Abingdon with his wife Robin May who has two children, Jesame, Tai and Seaton.

This presentation will be a “Bristol Country Music 101” program giving the history of the Bristol 1927 and 1928 Sessions and our links to the founders of the modern country music industry. Notable musicians that made their mark in Bristol were The “Pop” Stoneman family, The Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers, who came out of the Bristol Sessions and later cross-over artist Tennessee Ernie Ford. The Stoneman Family was awarded the first C.M.A as the “Vocal Group of the Year” in 1967 and the family continues the legacy as the longest continuously active name in Country Music. McClellan’s presentation is free and open to the general public.

For further details on this presentation or other upcoming events contact program chairman Tim Buchanan, 276-669-3885. You may visit www.bristolhistoricalassociation.com for details on the work of the Bristol Historical Association. Isabelle Ladd currently serves as president.