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The Country Music Archive (incorporating BACM, the British Archive of Country Music) is a non-profit organisation, set up by a team of long time country music collectors -who passionately love the music and want to share it with as wide an audience as possible.
Our mission is to preserve traditional country music and make it available to country music historians, researchers and enthusiasts – now and for future generations.
The music (now around 670,000 tracks), is gleaned from cylinders, 78s, 45rpm singles, EPs and LPs as well as CDs. The Archive also includes thousands of magazines, fanzines, discographies, biographies and photographs all stored under one roof. Our small team is continuously archiving and cataloguing this material.
Our BACM CDs
Over the past 18 plus years we have been digging into the vaults, compiling and releasing CDs of recordings, focusing on Country’s “Golden Era”, from the 1920s to the early ‘60s. Each release is meticulously researched – drawing on our team of country music experts from around the world, many of them specialists in a particular era or genre of the music. Tracks are identified and whittled down to the 30 or so that appear on each CD – some come from within the Archive but where there are gaps we seek help from our network of collectors.
These CDs are aimed at core collectors and many feature historic early recordings from before an artist became famous. As far as possible we try to avoid overlapping with “popular” tracks available from other labels so when you buy one of our CDs you are unlikely to receive mere duplicates of recordings already in your collection.
As of mid 2020, our core catalogue is not far off 700 CDs, covering all genres of country music. Bringing a total of nearly 20,000 recordings back into the light of day.
Our Chart Memories CDs
In addition, our new Chart Memories series (launched in 2016) focuses on more recent ‘Hit’ material from the 1950s to the early 1960s. For each of those years, we are compiling a ‘Top 100’ of country/country crossover hits, based primarily on the US Billboard charts but also taking account of charts from other places where country records sold well like Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Ireland. This Chart Memories series is limited edition and the discs are likely to become valued collectors items. So far we have released eight years, 1955 to 1962, a total of 800 Country hit recordings.