Back in the '20s, in order to catch the new thing before rival record companies, labels would set up shop in a fixed location and invite musicians from far and wide to record. Victor snagged the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers in Bristol. In 1929 and 1930, Brunswick (with its blues wing Vocalion) chose the St. James Hotel in Knoxville, TN as a recording location and musicians from all over traveled there to sing into the machine.
A couple years back Lynn Point Records posted a veritable treasure trove of mp3s from the St. James Sessions including tracks from the Tennessee Chocolate Drops, the Appalachian Vagabond, Leola Manning and the Southern Moonlight Entertainers, plus tons of info including a couple great articles by St. James expert Jack Neely. Below is a short video documentary on the St. James Sessions, as well.