Browsing Category: NASHVILLE



FROM THE 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s


1. Harvey’s Nativity scene at the Parthenon in Centennial Park. The Nativity Scene featured life size figures with lights that faded from white to blue to red and Christmas Carols on the sound system. It was a truly spiritual experience and one that brought families together and reminded them of the meaning of the season.
2. The old Krystal Restaurants on West End and on Gallatin Road with curb service. They served the burgers in a red plastic basket with that wax paper covering them up for a dime each. Thick shakes and chocolate ice box pie for dessert.
3. The Monkey Bar and Carousel (operated by Max Loewenstein a survivor of Buchenwald) at downtown Harvey’s. If business was slow Mr. Harvey would let the monkeys run loose in the store.
4. The old movie theaters downtown: The Tennessee, Crescent, Lowes, Knickerbocker and the Paramount? The “Popeye Club” was at the Paramount Theater….also Bob Luck who played the big organ as it rose from a lower level at the front of the theater. Most of the theatres carried big banners “AIR CONDITIONED” in icy blue letters.
5. The original Green Hills Strip – Chester’s, Three Sisters, Family Booterie, Durys, Woolworths, Walgreens, Cross Keys restaurant & Castner Knotts. The BEST cherry cokes were at Woolworths in Green Hills and you could pop a balloon to get the price of your banana split. Chester’s had a mynah bird on the bMynah Birdasement floor which would wolf whistle at the ladies walking by. Talking Mynah birds were a novelty in the late 50’s and downtown Harveys, the Children’s Museum and Jim Reed Chevrolet all had resident birds.
6. Green Hills & Inglewood Theaters – Party Rooms that were soundproofed and could host noisy birthday parties and crying babies. Melrose Theatre and it’s make-out balcony, Martin Theatres at 100 Oaks with the rocking chairs seats and Belle Meade Theatre with double seats for dates to get close and personal. Many theatres had drawings for cash and the prize could grow each week if unclaimed.
7. All the “real” hotels were downtown: Andrew Jackson, Maxwell House, Noel, Hermitage, Sam Davis and ultra cool Hyatt Regency with the revolving Polaris Restaurant on top and the Blue Max Lounge in the basement. As a side note, the wildest and most out of control party in the Nashville 60’s was at the Hermitage in 1968 and was an after- prom breakfast for Hillsboro High School. It made the newspapers and has become an urban legend for it’s gross excess. The Downtown Hermitage Hotel was the year-round home for eight years to pool legend Minnesota Fats. The pool shark, arguably the most famous player to pick up a cue stick, had his own table on the Mezzanine above the lobby.
8. Cascade Plunge Swimming Pool at Fair Park. The pool was massive and almost toxic from the chemicals employed to keep it sanitary. One exited the dressing room to the poolside by walking through a green ankle high pool of chemical to sterilize the feet after which one walked through an adjoining pool of a similar orange solution, then one dived into water so soaked with chlorine pool solution it was bright blue in color, stung the eyes, and had a slight bitter taste. TherOld Hickory Poole were several other pools of note including Swim & Sun, Centennial Park Pool, Glendale in Melrose, Sun Valley in Madison, Collins’ Lake off River Road, Pleasant Green in Goodlettsville, Willow Plunge in Franklin, Pine Springs off Couchville Pike, Union Hill Pool next to the drag strip and Rawlings off of Clarksville Highway. Swimming lessons at Shelby Park with Vic Varallo. Remember when the Downtown YMCA pool was sans swimsuits? Boys would start out as minnows and complete the course as whales. The 2nd. biggest urban legend of Nashville (behind the Hookman) concerned razor blades embedded in the water slide at Cascade Plunge. Apparently the 3rd. biggest urban legend that the Downtown YMCA required nude swimming was true.
9. Hippodrome Skating Rink (where the Vanderbilt Holiday Inn is) or the Rollerdrome (where H H Gregg is on Thompson Lane at the railroad tunnel) or Skateland …

Memories of Nashville Rock Radio

Memories of Nashville Rock Radio

Radio in the 50’s and 60’s was king. Nashville had only three TV stations and they went off the air at Midnight. Most kids slept with a transistor radio under their pillow and local DJ’s were part of the family.

The following material was submitted by G.K. (Sunny) Goller. He hopes to add to this information with your help. If you have corrections/additions add them in the Message Board. We are also needing pictures and memorabilia from early Nashville Radio.

In 1969, Johnny Walker did one of the first, if not the first, AOR type programs in Nashville. It seems as though it was late summer 1969, when I heard Walker play Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. Other artists and tunes Walker played on his AOR program were Crosby, Stills and Nash’s,”Suite Judy Blue Eyes,” old Cream cuts and Rolling Stones songs.

I remember the show had some loyal following such as myself. Since I was 15 at this time, I was wildly enthusiastic. I told other friends about this cool, new radio show that played deeper into rock albums and a harder genre type of rock n roll.

As I remember, the show did not last long, but it was shortly after this when Scott Shannon, who I think is now a DJ up in the DC area, created the power hour, which also was a stab at AOR type programming. Shannon always signed off his program with “Cherish” by the Association (which was not an AOR type song), but it was Shannon’s sign off song.

Then after running a MOR and goldies format, WKDA launched Album Oriented Rock (AOR) in March 1970. BK Saddler and Syd Young both were gracious enough to-mail me some information on early air celebrities of the early WKDA FM. Don Sullivan, Chuck Mccartney, Mac Allan and Bob Cole were already doing the goldies format when the AOR format was brought in. Carl P. Mayfield came in later that same year I think.

Other WKDA FM jocks that came in shortly after this were Dave Walton, Jim Escue and Hunter Harvey. I also remember two midnight jocks in the summer of 1971. One was named Jim Baton. Baton played music that is now called: Heavy Metal.” He played Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Bloodrock, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and other early heavy rocking bands. My friends and I wore the guy out with requests. He usually played the songs also.

Another jock that I remember, but do not remember the guy’s name was Don Dixons or something such as that. The same deal with Dixon. He usually played some very weird tunes after midnight. That was fine with a bunch of long haired young rocking hippy wannabe types. I also learned that Ron Huntsman might have been one of the early program directors.

It was great radio for certain. AOR was still fairly new in these days. Playlists were much deeper than they are today

In the fall of 1971, WKDA FM 103.3 changed their format from AOR to an AOR hybrid. An AOR hybrid is actually a top 40 station that makes some attempt to reach out to AOL listeners. Make no mistake about, the big and friendly WKDA FM, which had been a bastion to Nashville’s counter culture, had sold out! The new WKDA FM was now playing Helen Ready’s “I am woman.” No true AOR station would have touched that. It was top 40 pop music.

WKDA FM did make some effort to reach out to the AOR crowd late at nights, real late. Too late for people that work to enjoy this genre. But I would listen on the weekends. They would play a hit song by the Rollin’s Stones followed by whatever was on the top 40 playlists at that time. No, it was not very good AOR programming in my opinion.

And for several years, WKDA FM was into this kind of AOR-hybrid radio. Then Clark Rogers came along in 72 or 73 and began programing cool tune again after midnight. No top 40 stuff. Rogers played album cuts again of the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane and the great bands.

But WKDA FM prodded in …

Rock Combos of Nashville 1970's

Rock Combos of Nashville 1970’s

By 1970 Combos were replaced by “Bands”and music was to listen to, rather than to dance to.


GraduatesA variety band that worked the nightclub circuits during the late 60’s and early 70’s including the Voo Doo Room and Captain Table in Nashville’s Printers Alley. They also traveled the Southeastern US working military reservations during the Vietnam War. The Graduates had one record on Monument Records (7th Generation Breakthrough) produced by Jerry Tuttle.

The picture to the left to right:
Randy Allen, Drums
Gene Golden, Hammond B3 and Vocals
Charlie Schrader, Tenor Sax and Vocals
Jimmy Mullins, Guitar and Vocals

The picture is circa 1969


Turning Point

A R&B Group started in 1972 and worked Nashville Nightclubs until Feb. 1976 when the members began service in a band for Kenny Rogers.
Left to right:
Gene Golden, Hammond B3, Elec. Piano and Vocals
Bobby Daniels, Drums and Vocals
Steve Glassmeyer, Electric Piano and Vocals
The trio grew to seven pieces with Kenny.
The group recorded several hit albums with K.R. over the years. Steve Glassmeyer co-wrote Kenny’s hit “Love or Something Like it ” and is still with Kenny after 27 years. Bobby Daniels co-wrote and produced the “Superbowl Shuffle” for the Chicago Bears and now works for Project Return in Nashville. Gene Golden won an Emmy for a TV Theme, co-wrote a Cleo winning commercial for the Special Olympics, still writes and does independent production.


Formed in 1971, they recorded on the Capitol, Warner Brothers and Monument Labels. Made of members from Area Code 615: The original members were: Charlie McCoy, Wayne Moss, Mac Gayden and Kenneth Buttrey. More than 25 members came and went out of the band during it’s 11 years on the road. They played on the Blonde on the Blonde Album by Bob Dylan.

Barefoot Jerry

Pictured above:
Left to right:
Si Edwards, Drummer
Jim Colvard, Guitar Player
Wayne Moss, Guitar and Bass
Terry Dearmore, Bass and Vocals (in the wagon)
Russ Hicks, Steel Guitar Player (seated)
Warren Hartman, Keyboard & Sax (now produces Kenny Rogers)
Barefoot Jerry CDs are available in Nashville at Great Escape or on-line @
Barefoot Jerry Website


In 1972 the Band Glory came into the scene at McGavock High. They played at all the local dances and parties, playing Chicago, soul and 70’s top forty. They continued performing while at MTSU and played at many clubs and Frat parties in the south while being managed by Tony Moon Productions. They just played at the 30 year McGavock High Reunion in Nashville.
Band Members:
Tommy Strange – guitar and vocals
Kevin Wright – Lead vocals
Gary Shelton – Bass and Vocals
Rick King – keyboards and vocals (Pack Rat at the 30 yr. reunion)
Ernie Harris – drums (from MTSU)
Chris Brook – drums
Steve Abbott – sax and vocals
Paul Dunlap – sax (MTSU)
Roy Garner – trumpet and vocals
Jay Patterson – trumpet
Danny Crockarell – trumpet
Phil (Fat Bob) Eakes – Trombone
Submitted by Jay Patterson…

Guest Book

Guest Book

Total Guestbook Entries : 1503
Now showing Entries 1503 through 1

Date: 1/13/2006 – 10:18 AM
Name: Dandida Kathy Parsons
Site: http://
Location: Nashville, tn, God Bless the USA
Comments: Love this website…im only 32 but remember lots of this stuff when i was little and my mom certainly does.

Date: 1/9/2006 – 12:44 PM
Site: http://
Location: dowelltown, tn, usa

Date: 1/5/2006 – 5:41 PM
Name: robbie cook
Site: http://
Location: Nashville, Tennessee,
Comments: Thank you for putting all of this together for all to see… it sure takes me back. Thank you!

Date: 1/2/2006 – 5:29 PM
Name: William (Bill) Thrasher
Site: http:// none
Location: Montgomery, Alabama, USA
Comments: I attended East Junior High 1943-1945. East Senior High 1945-1947 when I left and enlisted in the US Army. I retired from the United States Air Force 1968. My profession in the Air Force was Meteorologist. I later worked for the Federal Aviation Administration as Air Traffic Controller. I retired in 1985 and presently reside in Montgomery, ALabama with my wife Velma Craighead Thrasher of 55 years.

Date: 12/28/2005 – 11:30 PM
Name: Sherrie Crutcher Dean
Site: http://
Location: Elkton, Va., U. S. A.
Comments: I attended Hume-Fogg Tech 1964. Rode the Nashville bus to school or just walked from my home in east Nashville to school. Danced on the t.v. show ” Five O’Clock Hop”.Skated about every weekend at the Hippodrome on West end Ave. or Bordeaux Roller Rink owned and run by the Drapers. Swam at Old Hickery Lake and White City and Meridian Park.Life was great growing up in Nashville. The Salvation Army had a community center in East Nashville called the “Red Shield”, where kids could go and watch ball games or enjoy basketball ,pool or attend a number of events.There was a huge field behind Caldwell Elementary School where the neighborhood kids would all gather in the summer to have a game of softball.

Date: 12/26/2005 – 10:52 PM
Name: Ramona goodman
Site: http://
Location: Wichita, Ks., USA
Comments: I married Bernard(Bobby)Goodman in 1951. He was the youngest son of Lawrence and Alberta Goodman, who resided at 126 woodmont Blvd. Lawrence Goodman was a concert pianist and teacher in Nashville, having been head of the music Dept. at Ward Belmont College during the 20’s. He also had a rado program on WSM during the 40’s and early 50’s that was presented on Sunday afternoons. If anyone has any memory of this family I would love to hear from you. Bobby passed away in 1992, but his brother, Lawrence, Jr., is residing in Big Sandy Tx.

Date: 12/24/2005 – 2:04 AM
Name: Gary Smith
Site: http://
Location: Donelson, Tn.,
Comments: I spent three years at Glencliff. I should have graduated in 71 but it took me a year in McGavock to finish. Anyway this site brought back many fond memories. Hard to believe all this time has passed. Thank you so much for your efforts to keep these things alive.

Date: 12/22/2005 – 2:35 PM
Name: Brenda (Walker) Ragan
Site: http://
Location: Canton, Ga, USA
Comments: I was born and raised in Nashville. This Memories page brought back so many things that I could not have remembered on my own. Thanks!

Date: 12/21/2005 – 12:36 AM
Name: Pamela Callis Musgrove
Site: http://
Location: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Comments: I grew up in Nashville. In the Harding Place, Nolensville Road area. Wow has it changed since the early 1960’s Every time I visit it makes me cry to see what has happened to the area. I saw Harding Mall was being torn down. If anyone has photos of Harding Mall as it used to be I


In the sixties bands were forming on every cul-de-sac and would soon bring the latest rock & roll music to every high school, teen center, ballroom, VFW, and nightclub in the country. The music they produced was Garage rock, a raw form of rock and roll that enjoyed its original period of wide success in the United States from 1963 to 1967. Garage bands that crept into the national charts included: The Kingsmen (Portland), Paul Revere and the Raiders (Portland) and The Gentrys (Memphis).

“Garage rock” comes from the perception that many such performers were young and often rehearsed in a family garage. Bands were mostly made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs. Garage rock peaked both commercially and artistically in 1966 and generally disappearing entirely by 1970.

1960’s Nashville Combos included:
Allman Joys, The Exotics, The Nobles, Ronny and the Daytonas, Deltas, Prophets, The Chessmen,
Lemonade Charade, King James and the Sceptres, Johnny Jones & The King Casuals,
Gremlins, Continentals, Kapers, Crystals, Jaguars, Remicks, Spinners, Barons, Jesters, The Citations,
The DeVilles, The Squires, The Chaparelles, Sam Robinson and the Nashville Shadows,
The Ministers of Sound, Jerry and the Buccaneers, The Loved Ones, The Marshmallow Mood,
Epidemics, Spidells, Fairlanes, Canned Soul, Johnny Jones and the King Casuals,
Anglo Saxons, Alex Harvey Band, Kenny and the Confidentials, Silhouettes, Glass Hammer w/ Joe Meador,
Charlie McCoy and the Escorts, Steve Davis Group, The Whole Damn Family, Counts of Nowhere,
Ugly Forest, Cavaliers, Taxmen, Feminine Complex,
We the People and hundreds more.

Typical equipment setup for the sixties.


John (aka Ronny) Wilkin, vocalist, songwriter, guitarist John “Bucky” Wilkin was the “brains” behind Ronny & the Daytonas; the group was comprised of mainly Bucky, but with input from Bergen White, who went on to become an extremely sought after arranger in Nashville; Buzz Cason, who filled in for Jerry Naylor as a Cricket, as well as having a hit under the name Garry Miles on “Look For a Star,” and finally Bobby Russell, who composed hits such as “Sure Gonna Miss Her” (Gary Lewis & the Playboys), “Popsicle” (Jan & Dean), “The Joker Went Wild” (Brian Hyland), “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (Vicki Lawrence –his former wife), “Honey” (Bobby Goldsboro) and “Little Green Apples” (O.C. Smith).…



Welcome to the wonderful world of Mid Life Crisis!! You are about to embark on one of the most perilous journey’s you have ever taken. A journey fraught with intrigue and guaranteed to turn you inside out! Here you can learn “how to” answers to the questions you have been asking yourself about damaging as many people as you can along the way. Come on and dig in, it’s time to get this Roller coaster rolling on down the tracks!!

Chapter 1

Choosing the correct speech

There are 4 basic speeches for you to choose from. They are:

a. I love you, but I don’t know if I’m in love with you.

b. I’ve never loved you, and we should never have gotten married.

c. We got married to young. I never knew anything besides you.

d. You tricked me into marrying you, I would never have done it otherwise.

Once you have decided on which speech to give, you need to cause as much anxiety in your spouse as you can before you actually give it. Continue to the next chapter for Lessons in building anxiety.

Chapter 2

Lessons in building anxiety

You will find these lessons to be helpful in causing anxiety in your spouse and others (depending on the level of pain and damage you want to cause), not just prior to giving the speech, but throughout your MLC.

Lesson 1

Monstrification of your Spouse

This is easy to accomplish. Simply think of only the “bad” things that your spouse has done throughout your entire relationship. Have one of those “angel” spouses? No problem, just remember how bad she/he always makes you feel. DO NOT under any circumstances remember fondly your spouse, or anything they have done for you. Remember, they are going to be the cause of all of your problems, so it is imperative that you convince your self of this first.

Lesson 2

This will be very easy to do after accomplishing lesson 1. All you have to do is start reminding yourself that you don’t care about them, what they feel, what they want, or if they hurt. Simple! Every time you remind yourself of this, you will get further and further away from your relationship emotionally. Now, that wasn’t too hard was it? On to lesson 3

Lesson 3

Mass confusion and Indecision

This lesson requires a little more thought and attention. You must constantly practice saying “I don’t know” to ANY and ALL questions. That is imperative!! Your spouse (and others) must never know precisely what is going on in-side your head. Also, never let them know where you are going, where you have been, who you were with (this will go hand in hand with the lesson on the Other Person, or OP), or whether or not they can expect you to return home.

Lesson 4

Lies and Deceit

To get the most damage, and cause the most pain, you must lie and deceive at every opportunity. And to really achieve hall of fame status, you should be very inept at it, so that everyone knows that you are lying, or suspects, but can’t prove it initially. This works very well for the following chapters, OP and Cake Eating.

Chapter 3

The Other Person (or OP)

Now it is time for you to succumb to temptation. You KNOW all of those other women/men want you! They have been coming on to you for years!! It is time for you to give them their chance at having some of you. Make sure that you leave a very confusing trail for your spouse to follow. One that lets them suspect, but have to dig and sneak (to make them feel worse about themselves) to find the information they need to prove it. Hold out admitting the affair as long as you can, and don’t admit it ever, if you can get away with it. If you do get caught rub it in his/her face. For extra points pick a married OP with a family. Drag as many people as possible into your crisis.

Chapter 4

Cake Eating

This chapter is designed to string your spouse along in uncertainty as long as possible, …

Rock Combos of Nashville 1950's-1970's

Rock Combos of Nashville 1950’s-1970’s

The Crescendos Do-Wop Group With Noel Ball

The Crescendos were a Cumberland High School group that won a talent contest about 1955. As a prize they were given a recording date with a record company. The result was a 1957 release of a tune titled “Oh Julie” which was a large regional hit. Noel Ball pushed the tune hard on his DJ shows and they actually made it to American Bandstand later that year. Like the Casuals they made quite a few appearances at local and regional rock-in-roll shows. On the release of “O Julie” there was a prominent backup part that was filled by a girl named Janice Green. On the strength of that record she crafted a string of personal appearances and some recordings. She was billed as Janice Green; The O Julie Girl.


Nashville’s first Rock n Roll Band 1956
1958 Lineup:
Saxophonist Joe Watkins
Vocalist Buzz Cason
Accordionist and Pianist Chester Powers
Drummer Bill Smith
Vocalist and Pianist Richard Williams
Guitarist Johnny McCreery

By 1959, The Casuals had become the Casual Teens and toured as Brenda Lee’s backup band and recorded for Dot Records. The picture to the left is of the band in 1960. Band members included:

Left to right
Snuffy Smith, Double Neck Bass
Billy Smith, Drummer
Buzz Cason, (Gary Miles) Vocals
Richard Williams, Keyboard & Vocals
Wayne Moss, Guitar
Joe Watkins, Tenor Sax
The pictures below were taken in July 1960.


first got together in September of 1957 playing dances at what was then the Madison Fire Hall. John Sturdivant on baritone sax, John Richards on Tenor sax, Ernie Winfrey on drums, and Donny Green on guitar. We picked up Willo Collins on guitar and Hershel Hopper on electric bass, piano and drums. Hershel was a versatile guy. The five of them played University of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, U.T. and Vanderbilt frats as well as other college and high school frats and sororities throughout the south on a weekly basis for the busiest part of four years.

The Monarchs opened shows for Johnny Cash (before he was country) Brenda Lee and Al Green. Hargis (Pig) Robins played piano on a lot of local gigs but could not travel with them due to the session obligations he had at the time. In between jobs they played sessions for Revis Studios on lower Second Avenue.

Submitted by Donny Green



Tom Tichenor was a Nashville native who became known for his puppet work at the downtown library and on TV. In the late 50’s he went to New York and did the puppets for the Broadway hit musical CARNIVAL and directed a children’s TV station, producing early kiddie shows like BIRTHDAY HOUSE with Paul Tripp. He also did a Puppet production of THE BREMENTOWN MUSICIANS there.
Tom Tichenor

Tom Tichenor Puppet Theatre
Tom Tichenor Theatre – Marionette Stage

In the late 60’s he returned to Nashville and did an adaptation of THE GOLDEN GOOSE at Children’s theatre. He then stayed in town and was at the Library. The weekly puppet and marionette shows became a fixture in Nashville. Some shows combining the puppets with live performers were also done, notably a children’s musical called “Sir Patches And The Dragon” that later was adapted for a popular children’s book. The Story Hours in the Story room were a big thing too. A live story teller as the Rainbow Fairy or the Lollipop Princess told stories while the most popular puppet characters (Felica Fieldmouse, Marco Polo Bear, etc.) acted them out. Tichenor also did a number of popular children’s television specials, “The Toymaker And The Mice” and “Christmas At Creepy Castle” were on PBS.

The Witch and Rapunzel

The Story Hour room at the Nashville Public Library.Shown here are the storyteller with Marco Polo Bear in the Puppet Playhouse.…