“The Birthplace of Country Music”
Two states, two cities, one community. Bristol, TN is the sister city of Bristol, VA and they share not only their border but they also share the visitors that flock to the area every year. With plenty of history, lots of outdoor activities and the fastest half mile in NASCAR, Bristol is a destination that you don’t want to miss.
Bristol (both the Virginia and the Tennessee side) grew in the shadows of the Smokies. Bristol first took the national spotlight when Ralph Peer began recording the ‘local’ sound of the folk music in the area. In 1927, Peer recorded the Carter Family and then a young man named Jimmie Rodgers and from these recordings, country music was birthed. Bristol is now officially the birthplace of country music due to these visionaries.
The 20th century saw lots of change in the Bristol area. Increased traffic through the area due to the location of the Smoky Mountains and the establishment of Bristol Motor Speedway have brought thousands of people to the area each year. Bristol has embraced its history to expand their futre and have festivals that celebrate their past.
- 26,702 population
- 1,676’ (average altitude)
- 36°35′42″N 82°11′19″W
- Sullivan County
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