Download e-book for kindle: Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City by Craig Havighurst

By Craig Havighurst

ISBN-10: 0252032578

ISBN-13: 9780252032578

Started via the nationwide existence and twist of fate assurance corporation in 1925, WSM turned probably the most influential and unprecedented radio stations within the heritage of broadcasting and kingdom tune. WSM gave Nashville the moniker “Music urban united states” in addition to a wealthy culture of tune, information, and broad-based leisure. With the increase of nation tune broadcasting and recording among the Twenties and ‘50s, WSM, Nashville, and kingdom tune turned inseparable, stemming from WSM’s release of the Grand Ole Opry, renowned day-by-day indicates like Noontime Neighbors, and early morning artist-driven exhibits reminiscent of Hank Williams on Mother’s most sensible Flour.


Sparked by means of public outcry following a suggestion to tug kingdom tune and the Opry from WSM-AM in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and current assets to rfile the station’s profound influence at the personality and self-image of Nashville. Introducing the reader to colourful artists and businessmen from the station’s background, together with Owen Bradley, Minnie Pearl, Jim Denny, Edwin Craig, and Dinah Shore, the amount invitations the reader to mirror at the prestige of Nashville, radio, and nation track in American culture.

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Extra info for Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City

Example text

Craig didn’t need another reed, but when he found out how well Melton sang, he made the kid the band’s featured vocalist. Melton moved to Nashville, where he struggled at Vanderbilt but thrived studying voice with Ward-Belmont’s Gaetano de Luca. He grew into an operatic-quality tenor who could sing an aria or a romantic ballad with equal aplomb. When he struck out for the Great White Way in late 1927, Francis Craig went with him for support. A seemingly fruitless week ended in discovery. indd 30 7/17/07 10:27:38 AM repeatedly denied an audition by the prestigious Samuel Lionel “Roxy” Roth­ afel, Melton burst into song in the impresario’s lobby.

In one case, when attempts to reach a Nashville traveling salesman by telegram failed, Keefe put word out over the air that he was needed at home. The salesman heard of the plea and called from High Point, North Carolina, to learn that his daughter had died in an accident. Ultimately, however, it was music that best showcased WSM’s highbrow aims, and few WSM artists got more early airtime than another of Edwin’s relatives, first cousin Francis Craig. When he was eight years old, Francis passed by a pool hall in Clarksville and heard ragtime piano for the first time.

Stations shared talent and observed “silent” nights in deference to one another. Jack DeWitt’s former collaborator Harry Stone continued to build a broadcasting career quite literally out of thin air. Working part-time at WCBQ and part-time at a radio store, he impressed potential customers by calling the station and having the operator there play a record over the air at the customers’ request. He reportedly arranged Nashville’s first sponsored radio show, a Maxwell House Coffee program with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and a small Beasley Smith–led combo.

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

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