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

By Craig Havighurst

Started via the nationwide existence and coincidence assurance corporation in 1925, WSM turned probably the most influential and extraordinary radio stations within the historical past of broadcasting and state tune. WSM gave Nashville the moniker “Music urban united states” in addition to a wealthy culture of song, information, and broad-based leisure. With the increase of nation track 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, well known day-by-day indicates like Noontime Neighbors, and early morning artist-driven indicates equivalent to Hank Williams on Mother’s most sensible Flour.


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

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

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One day a secretary to Runcie Clements, the new vice president and comptroller of National Life, heard Bailey and invited him to play at a formal dinner at the company’s new headquarters. He made five dollars. Bailey was invited to be one of the first entertainers on WDAD. Besides his regular spots, he was coaxed into entering an on-air harmonica contest. Nobody objected to a black man in an otherwise all-white competition, until he outplayed everyone. Exum, against his own best instincts, named Bailey runner-up to avoid trouble.

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.

Programming, the company said, will be “varied and of an outstanding nature. ” When they said “all over the country,” they meant it. As Jack DeWitt found out firsthand with his homebuilt transmitter, radio signals in the early twentieth century carried vast distances, in part because the airwaves were relatively uncluttered by other broadcast media. There is also a physical phenomenon called a “skywave,” in which nighttime radio signals bounce between the earth and a charged layer of the atmosphere, over thousands of miles.

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