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Country's "Big Bang"

Experts have called Aug. 1, 1927, country's "Big Bang," the beginning of the most significant week in country music history. During that week, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers made their first recordings in Bristol, a city on the Tennessee-Virginia line, for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Producer Ralph Peer had set up a makeshift studio in an abandoned Bristol warehouse to record the sessions. On Aug. 1, the Carter Family -- A.P. Carter, his wife Sara and Sara's cousin Maybelle Addington -- settled in behind the microphones to cut "Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow" and other tracks.

Three days later, Jimmie recorded in the same studio. "Jimmie only knew, I think, two chords on the guitar," recalled Peer. "But he was an individualist. He had his own style."

Those early sessions would have an amazing impact. They turned the Carter Family and Jimmie into huge stars, making country music commercially successful for the first time and ushering in a new era of recorded product.

"These recordings," Johnny Cash once remarked, "are the single most important event in the history of country music."