Tag Archives: Tennessee

Happy 90th to the Grand Ole Opry!

ernest tubb

On 28 November 1925 a white-bearded man sat down before one of the Nashville radio station WSM’s modern carbon microphones to play some old-time fiddle tunes. Uncle Jimmy Thompson played on the air for an hour that night, and throughout the region listeners took notice.

In Nashville the response at the offices of National Life and Accident Insurance Company, which owned radio station WSM, was dramatic. It was not long before the station manager was besieged by pickers and fiddlers of every variety, all wanting their shot at the Saturday night airwaves.

By 1940 the Grand Ole Opry had found its national audience and was poised to become the legendary institution that it remains to this day.

This according to A good-natured riot: The birth of the Grand Ole Opry by Charles K. Wolfe (Nashville: Country Music Foundation, 1999). Above, Ernest Tubb at the Opry. Below, a show from the early 1960s.

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My homeland Tennessee


Perhaps more than any other state, Tennessee is associated with music. The state, its cities, natural features, and historical events have been the subject of thousands of popular songs written and performed in almost every style. The idea of Tennessee is so popular that it has inspired great songwriting and performances not only by native Tennesseans but by people from all over the world.

My homeland Tennessee: A research guide to songs about Tennessee preserves and presents historic documents and recordings that illuminate Tennessee as represented in blues, ragtime, rock’n’roll, rap, folk, country, jazz, rhythm and blues, and other styles. This open-access resource also includes a special section on the several official state songs of Tennessee.

Below, Tennessee’s own Dolly Parton.

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