By Craig Havighurst
Started through the nationwide existence and twist of fate coverage corporation in 1925, WSM grew to become essentially the most influential and unprecedented radio stations within the historical past of broadcasting and nation song. 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 state song broadcasting and recording among the Nineteen Twenties and ‘50s, WSM, Nashville, and kingdom track 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 corresponding to Hank Williams on Mother’s top Flour.
Sparked by way of public outcry following an offer to drag state track and the Opry from WSM-AM in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and latest assets to rfile the station’s profound impression at the personality and self-image of Nashville. Introducing the reader to colourful artists and businessmen from the station’s historical past, 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 nation song in American culture.
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Major Van Nostrand observed that WSM would cover rural areas not previously served well by radio. The rest of the long evening was devoted to music. ” Beasley Smith’s orchestra introduced its swinging sound, and the guest announcers took turns on the microphone. George D. Hay blew his signature wooden whistle for emphasis. Francis Craig’s orchestra didn’t even start playing from the ornate ballroom at the Hermitage Hotel until midnight, and National Life employees and friends held an impromptu dance party on the building’s fourth floor.
But it won’t do any harm. ’ So Grandfather heaved a sigh maybe of relief, and said, ‘All right. ’” Craig seems to have won his permission by February 1923, the date of an official announcement that National Life was about to lay the cornerstone of a new headquarters building. Vice President W. R. Wills described the planned new office to the sales force as “the South’s most beautiful insurance home”—60,000 square feet rising five elegant stories above the corner of Seventh Avenue North and Union Street.
Brenan set up a radio on the front steps of his home, and dozens listened from his leafy lawn. In Chattanooga, National Life sales superintendents helped assemble a crowd to listen in from a fire hall, and before the night was over, they sold a policy to an enthusiastic fan. indd 15 7/17/07 10:27:36 AM A wide range of other artists assembled for the broadcast: the Knights of Columbus Quartet, a male vocal group; the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a celebrated local black ensemble that sang formal spiritual music; and various duos and trios of local instrumentalists and vocalists.
Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City by Craig Havighurst