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

By Craig Havighurst

Started by means of the nationwide existence and coincidence coverage corporation in 1925, WSM grew to become essentially the most influential and unprecedented radio stations within the background of broadcasting and nation track. 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 kingdom track broadcasting and recording among the Nineteen Twenties and ‘50s, WSM, Nashville, and kingdom song grew to become inseparable, stemming from WSM’s release of the Grand Ole Opry, well known day-by-day exhibits like Noontime Neighbors, and early morning artist-driven indicates similar to Hank Williams on Mother’s top Flour.


Sparked through public outcry following an offer to drag nation tune and the Opry from WSM-AM in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and current assets to record 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 quantity invitations the reader to mirror at the prestige of Nashville, radio, and state song in American culture.

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Indd 13 7/17/07 10:27:35 AM gundy velvet drapes that lined the walls and hung from a central point in the ceiling, like the interior of an Arabian tent. It was a typical approach for the day. Radio stations discovered that bright, reflective rooms produced an unbearable echo effect over the air. Lacking the panels that would soon come along to absorb sound, stations commonly draped their studios or put bands outdoors. WSM’s room was furnished like a parlor, with an ebony Steinway grand piano, wingback chairs, frilly floor lamps, a rococo desk, and a crystal chandelier.

Indd 25 7/17/07 10:27:37 AM Edwin Craig appears to have endorsed the old-time turn early on. “We were looking for something which would give us national identification,” he once said.  . ” Hay also would have learned that Craig had been a mandolin player in a string band during his prep school days. “He liked the music played by rural people,” wrote Opry historian Jack Hurst. ” Bundles of mail and telegrams proved an audience was out there. Saturday night was the best time to reach working people (the “industrial” class targeted by National Life’s Shield Men) at their most relaxed, as they hovered in a carefree limbo between six days of toil and Sabbath-day propriety.

He suggested that National Life work out a signal-sharing arrangement with the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper’s WMC, but that was a far-fetched solution. WMC was, by this time, a veteran in Tennessee broadcasting and highly unlikely to give up its prime-time hours. Broadcast licenses were, however, transferable. Craig discovered that James D. 8 meters, an attractive wavelength. ” WOAN broadcast only an hour each night, mixing live gospel music with pitches for Vaughan’s songbooks. indd 11 7/17/07 10:27:35 AM Vaughan could supply the programming between 9:00 and 10:00 on weeknights and 9:15 to 10:15 on Sunday nights.

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