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The Appalachian Cultural Music Association is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of traditional Appalachian Mountain music.

“To preserve and promote bluegrass, old time, gospel, classic country and Appalachian style music and provide education through jam sessions, instructional workshops, concerts, community festivals and provide a music alternative to traditional school bands. To support the Pickin’ Porch, Song of the Mountains, Mountain Music Museum, the Carter Fold and other local venues of like ideas.”

This is why the Appalachian Cultural Music Association was established; simply to preserve the rich cultural music heritage of the Appalachian Mountains. In 2006, Tim White, along with James Bryant, saw a need in the area to showcase and promote the wonderful Bluegrass and Country music for which the area was officially dubbed, ”The Birthplace of Country Music”.

-About Us-

Our Mission Statement

“To preserve and promote bluegrass, old time, gospel, classic country, and Appalachian style music and provide education through jam sessions, instructional workshops, concerts, community festivals, and provide a music alternative to traditional school bands. To support the Pickin’ Porch, Song of the Mountains, Mountain Music Museum, the Carter Fold and other local venues of like ideas.”

The ACMA was CO-founded by Tim White and James Bryant with support of approximately 50 initial members in 2006. Both of these gentlemen have been longtime supporters and leaders in the music of the southern Appalachians.

Our History

The Mountain Music Museum was established in 1998 when Tim White and James Bryant CO-founded the organization. Harry Esenwine, who managed Bristol Mall, gave a home to the ACMA, and let us establish The Mountain Music Museum and The Pickin’ Porch Show there.

“Without the support of Harry and the Bristol Mall ownership and management, we could not have achieved the success we have enjoyed through our nonprofit. organization over the years.” Tim White recently quoted.

Allen Hurley approached the ACMA early in 2012 and offered his assistance to the organization with a proposal for a new home at his building at 626 State Street.

The ACMA’s Pickin’ Porch Show has been located at the Bristol Mall since 1998. The final regular Thursday night concert took place November 19, 2012 at the mall location. The ACMA presented the legendary Larry Sparks for a special concert which marked the official final event for the long running series at the Bristol Mall.

The Pickin’ Porch Show also relocated to downtown Bristol in 2013. The Pickin’ Porch has moved from Thursday nights to Monday nights and is located on the second floor of the Foundation Event Facility in their concert theater.



-Get Involved-

Memberships to the ACMA are very affordable. $15 individual and $25 family annually. See complete details below. Your support is needed and additional financial donations are accepted.

Volunteer opportunities are always available in the organization, and we would like to invite you to contact us to see how you may be of service to the Mountain Music Museum, Pickin’ Porch Show, or the ACMA.

For more information, please email us. The ACMA is an all volunteer organization. We invite you to join and take part in the wonderful projects and events we offer.

Prices for membership are as follows:

Individual ~ $15, Family ~ $25, Student with ID ~ Free, Professional ~ $40, Band ~ $40

Click here for a printable Membership form.

Print it out and mail it along with a check to the following address.

Please make checks payable to:

ACMA

Attn: Suzy Gobble

626 State Street

Bristol, TN 37620

Please check our facebook page for more exciting opportunities for you to get involved in this wonderful organization as we continue to grow and build.

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Mountain Music is as timeless as the majestic Appalachians themselves. When our great country was young, shipload after shipload of immigrants came to her shores from points far and wide, and many of them found themselves trying to eke out a meager living in the hills and hollows of Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Back then times were hard, days were long and entertainment options were very few. One of the most common forms of entertainment in those days was music, and since there were no recordings - or even radio for that matter - families spent much of what little free time they had making their own music.

They sang a bevy of songs that they brought with them from their native countries, and over time a new form of music took root that was influenced heavily by a mixture of Irish, Scotch and African rhythms. This "Mountain Music" has endured for hundreds of years, giving birth to what we now know as Bluegrass and Country music along the way.

Singers and musicians from the middle Appalachian region have contributed enormously to the rise and perpetuation of Mountain Music, Bluegrass and Country, including many within a short drive of the official Country Music Birthplace: the twin cities of Bristol, VA-TN.

In July 1927, musical history was made just a few steps from the famous state line that divides the two Bristols. A gentleman by the name of Ralph Peer came to town on behalf of the Victor Talking Machine Company on a mission to record some of the unique Mountain Music that the area was so rich in.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Peer recorded the sounds of The Stoneman Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and arguably the most influential group in music history, The Carter Family. Those now-famous "Bristol Sessions" represented the birth of what we know today as Country Music.

While the performers who participated in the Bristol Sessions never obtained wealth on a grand scale like today's entertainers, the influence they had on the world of music is simply beyond compare. The legendary career of the Carter Family proved that a good living could indeed be made by performing music, and a large portion of the huge catalog of songs attributed to A.P. Carter have been performed by singers and musicians in virtually every musical genre. And there probably isn't a guitar player alive today who hasn't made an attempt at Mother Maybelle's "Wildwood Flower".

Of course there are many other music legends who hailed from the Birthplace Of Country Music region including the great Tennessee Ernie Ford, a Bristol native. There are also dozens of lesser-known, but just as important singers and musicians who have had a tremendous amount of influence on the world of Mountain Music. Ralph Blizzard, Patsy Cline, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Janette and Joe Carter...the list just goes on and on!

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