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

By Craig Havighurst

Started through the nationwide lifestyles and twist of fate assurance corporation in 1925, WSM turned probably the most influential and unheard of radio stations within the background of broadcasting and kingdom track. WSM gave Nashville the moniker “Music urban united states” in addition to a wealthy culture of track, information, and broad-based leisure. With the increase of state song broadcasting and recording among the Twenties and ‘50s, WSM, Nashville, and nation tune 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 indicates corresponding to Hank Williams on Mother’s most sensible Flour.


Sparked by means of public outcry following an offer to drag kingdom track and the Opry from WSM-AM in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and current resources 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 heritage, 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 kingdom tune in American culture.

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Sample text

A. ” A New Orleans–based agent named T. E. 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.

Coincidentally, WLAC also had its studios on the fifth floor of its company headquarters, on Fourth Avenue, and it was run by a company vice president, one J. Truman Ward. Meanwhile at Seventh and Union, Edwin Craig and Runcie Clements, appointed as the elder overseer of the radio service, were thinking about ways to further develop WSM’s profile and prestige. Though Clements was also the company’s comptroller, there seems to have been little concern about cost. After spending about $40,000 to get WSM on the air, the company dropped $50,000 more in 1926 and more than that in 1927 with nary a dime in commercial revenue, for it did not run advertisements.

Master control was connected to the transmitter house on the hill through three private phone lines, one for the regular broadcast signal, one for emergencies, and one for regular communication between the studio engineer and the chief engineer at the transmitter. Having sunk about $40,000 into the station’s physical plant (more than $400,000 in today’s dollars), National Life went to great lengths to promote its broadcast debut as a major community watershed. The company crafted a supplement to the Tennessean and the Banner, offering a wealth of information about the station’s capabilities and possibilities.

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