Knoxville, TN  - The Knoxville Stomp Festival of Lost Music to be held in Knoxville, May 5-8, celebrates the release of the Bear Family Records boxed set The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp.  The festival opens to the public on Friday, May 6, at the East Tennessee History Center with a panel discussion featuring old-time music scholar Dr. Ted Olson, historian Tony Russell, and Bear Family Records founder and CEO Richard Weize.

From 1927 to 1930, several record companies sent representatives into East Tennessee in search of local talent. The panel will discuss the sessions in Bristol, Johnson City, and Knoxville which produced notable recordings of the Carter Family, the “yodeling cowboy” Jimmie Rodgers, jazz musician Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, and many others. Bradley Reeves, director of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, will also share video from the Heartland Series, including rare footage of Willie Sievers of the Tennessee Ramblers.

The speaker panel includes Richard Weize who founded Bear Family Records in 1975 and has built its reputation as the most important reissue label in the world for roots-oriented music. Dr. Ted Olson is a multi-award winning and Grammy-nominated music scholar who teaches in the Department of Appalachian Studies and the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies Program at East Tennessee State University. Olson, along with fellow speaker Tony Russell, a leading historian of old-time music from London, England, co-produced and co-authored album books for three boxed sets from Bear Family Records: The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music (2011); The Johnson City Sessions, 1928-1929: Can You Sing or Play Old-Time Music? (2013); and The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp (2016).

The Knoxville Stomp Festival will celebrate Knoxville’s diverse music history through musical performances, film screenings, lectures, walking tours, and the new feature exhibition, Come to Make Records: Knoxville’s Contributions to American Popular Music, on display now at the Museum of East Tennessee History. The festival is presented in partnership with the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, Knox County Public Library, Visit Knoxville, WDVX, and the East Tennessee Historical Society. Festival venues include various downtown locations. Most events, including all programs held at the History Center, are free and open to the public. For more information visit

The ETHS Brown Bag Lecture Series is sponsored by Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel and is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville.  Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.  For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at