Download Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City by Craig Havighurst PDF

By Craig Havighurst

Started by way of the nationwide existence and twist of fate coverage corporation in 1925, WSM turned essentially the most influential and remarkable radio stations within the historical past of broadcasting and state song. WSM gave Nashville the moniker “Music urban united states” in addition to a wealthy culture of song, information, and broad-based leisure. With the increase of nation track broadcasting and recording among the Twenties and ‘50s, WSM, Nashville, and kingdom song turned inseparable, stemming from WSM’s release of the Grand Ole Opry, well known day-by-day indicates like Noontime Neighbors, and early morning artist-driven exhibits resembling Hank Williams on Mother’s most sensible Flour.


Sparked through public outcry following an offer to drag nation track and the Opry from WSM-AM in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and present assets to rfile the station’s profound impact at the personality and self-image of Nashville. Introducing the reader to colourful artists and businessmen from the station’s heritage, together with Owen Bradley, Minnie Pearl, Jim Denny, Edwin Craig, and Dinah Shore, the quantity invitations the reader to mirror at the prestige of Nashville, radio, and state track in American culture.

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Craig’s band played lunch and dinner in a warmly lit downstairs restaurant, where white-jacketed waiters served the city’s business and political elite. Though the band included reeds, piano, drums, banjo, and tuba, it swung lightly without getting too hot. The job earned Francis legitimacy in his own heart, in Elizabeth’s eyes, and even in his father’s estimation. And when Robert heard his son’s music coming over the remarkable new radio, he began to understand the choices his son had made. If jazz constituted the opposite of civilized music in the eyes of chancellors and ministers, Tennessee old-time music was only marginally more respectable, and yet fiddles and banjos found a place on WSM almost from the start.

And on at least one occasion, Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, two years into her wildly successful recording career on Columbia Records, visited the city and played with her orchestra over WDAD. ” The coverage marked a rare instance of mainstream Nashville celebrating black blues, which locally was as segregated as the record bins delineating “hillbilly” and “race” or “sepia” music. More propitious for the future of country music and WSM were the WDAD origins of another black performer, the Harmonica Wizard, DeFord Bailey.

Local radio mover and shaker Harry Stone was also on hand. indd 28 7/17/07 10:27:38 AM Edwin Craig thanked the city and its musical talent for a year of support and entertainment. He noted that the station, now with three full-time engineers, was growing. He thanked Martha Rowland Brown, who had taken over the bedtime story slot and its large fan club. And he gave special kudos to George Hay and Jack Keefe for holding down the announcing duties during more than 1,200 hours of broadcasts. “WSM has demonstrated two things,” he said.

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