The Bristol Sessions’

Vernon Dalhart

Vernon Dalhart ( Marion Try Slaughter ) lived April 6, 1883 to September 14, 1948.

Vernon Dalhart was a popular American singer and songwriter of the early decades of the 20th century. He is a major influence in the field of country music.

Dalhart was born in Jefferson, Texas. He took his stage name from two towns, Vernon and Dalhart in Texas, between which he punched cattle in the 1890s.

From 1916 until 1923, using numerous pseudonyms, he made over 400 recordings of light classical music and early dance band vocals for various record labels.

  Research by Billboard statistician Joel Whitburn determined “The Prisoner’s Song” to have been a No. 1 hit for 12 weeks in 1925-26. In 1998, “The Prisoner’s Song” was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and the Recording Industry Association of America named it one of the Songs of the Century. It was the




desire of the Victor Talking Machine Company to duplicate the sales success of ‘Wreck/Prisoner’ that led them to contract with Ralph S. Peer to go to the southern mountains in the Summer of 1927 to facilitate ‘The Bristol Sessions’, arguably the single-most important recording event in the history of country music, where Jimmie Rodgers and the original Carter Family were first discovered, and after which, Peer’s royalty model would become the standard of the entire recorded music industry.














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