Saxophonist Rahsaan Barber carries a missionary zeal for Music City’s jazz scene.
Articles by: Craig Havighurst
The release of Dennis Taylor’s debut album “Stepping Up” was supposed to be a landmark in the middle of a long fruitful career.
Besides the lives and homes lost in last weekend’s floods across the state, Nashville is taking stock of its musical heritage. From cherished institutions to vintage instruments, the damage has been widespread. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.
Duos from Nashville have usually been siblings channeling the close harmonies of the Everly Brothers or the romance of classic George Jones/Tammy Wynette country duets. But in today’s eclectic Music City, one of the most exciting and buzzed about duos is Sam & Ruby, who draw their strength from just how different each is from the other. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst has this profile.
A star by the age of 13, Brenda Lee became one of the most stylistically diverse and world-famous singers to ever come out of Nashville. Now she’s the latest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame to be featured in a close-up exhibit in the hall’s museum. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst recently took a tour, with Little Miss Dynamite herself as his guide.
Nashville’s 50-year-old Fairgrounds Speedway has a storied past but an uncertain future. City officials are considering selling the 117-acre fairgrounds site to developers, a move that would likely mark the end of a racing tradition that goes back more than a century. While that debate goes on, teams still race there most Saturday nights. It’s an old country sport living in the middle of the city. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.
While the CMA Fest is a direct outgrowth and promoter of Music Row’s country music industry, Bonnaroo has had only a slight relationship with Nashville’s emergent rock and pop scenes. But as WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports, some are hoping to change that.
The internet and the tribulations of the major label system have opened a window of opportunity for artists who don’t fit into a mainstream radio and retail formula. In the conclusion of our series Music City Remixed, WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports on efforts to foster these emerging music scenes, in part by rewriting the definition of success.
A study released in 2006 found that Nashville’s music business — plus music related tourism — accounted for nearly 20,000 jobs and more than $6 billion in yearly economic activity. The recent struggles of the recording industry may be pinching that, but as WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports in part five of our series Music City Remixed, efforts are underway to make sure Nashville maintains its historic place as a major entertainment center.
Ten years ago, Napster and the personal computer spawned a digital music revolution. For record labels, it meant a wave of song sharing and downloading that undermined CD sales. For everyone else, it ushered in a new era of music access, creation and marketing. In part four of Music City Remixed: Transition In An Industry Town, WPLN’s Craig Havighurst visits Nashville’s music technology entrepreneurs to see if the city’s digital skills are catching up to its songwriting and recording legacy.
In the past ten years, at least 25 Nashville record labels have shut their doors, while others have downsized or consolidated. That’s caused a lot of pain, but it’s also launched a new wave of music business entrepreneurs.
In part one of our series Music City Remixed, WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reported that falling CD sales are severely pinching the ability of Nashville’s record companies to invest in emerging musical talent. Today, he has the story of two labels and an emerging band — with clues about where the artist development process might be heading.
The recording industry is eight years into the worst downturn in decades, shaken by a revolution in how people discover and obtain music. That’s left Nashville’s star-making major labels in a precarious position, while a new music business is being born on and off Music Row.
The Nashville Symphony kicks off its new season tomorrow night with a concert beginning and ending with music by George Gershwin. And in between: more George Gershwin. In fact the Schermerhorn Symphony Center will be so full of Gershwin, there won’t be room for any other composers.
Few subjects in country music history have received more attention than Hank Williams. So when the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum approached a new exhibit featuring the legendary singer/songwriter, its curators faced the challenge of framing his story in a fresh way. They did so by designing the exhibit around the Williams family and its three generations of artistic brilliance, personal turmoil and everyday domestic life. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.
When Walter Hyatt died in the 1996 crash of ValueJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades, Nashville lost one of its most unique and uncompromising singer/songwriters. According to many who knew him, Hyatt was an extreme case of an artist better understood and appreciated by his musical peers than the general public.
Since the tragedy, Walter’s widow Heidi has been trying to complete the album he was working on at the time. Now, with the help of dozens of musical friends, she has, as WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.
Soprano Karen Parks has released a new CD whose title, Nobody Knows, is intended as a double entendre. Half of the album consists of vital and well-known Negro spirituals. But Parks is also calling attention to the unknown composer and singer who brought those spirituals into the American mainstream more than 100 years ago. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.
Bobby Braddock made it to the songwriter’s hall of fame on the strength of hits like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Golden Ring.” These days, however, he says he’s more excited about writing prose, specifically the story of his colorful life. This year, he published the first volume of his memoir and mastered the transition from one kind of writing to another, as WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.
The second trade mission this year from Tennessee to China has just returned, but one signature Nashville export – country music — wasn’t represented on either delegation to the world’s most coveted new marketplace. But when WPLN’s Craig Havighurst recently traveled to China, he met Cathy Chen, a one-woman promotional machine for country music. She wishes the industry here was more interested in what she’s up to, and she’s not the only one.
Since he arrived in Nashville in the mid 1960s, Tom T. Hall has brought unprecedented literary sophistication to country songwriting, even as he enjoyed enormous commercial success as an artist and writer. Now retired from mainstream country, Hall and his wife Dixie have become one of the first couples of bluegrass. They nurture emerging talent at their home studio, and Hall’s first new album in ten years is an all-bluegrass affair, featuring songs he and Dixie wrote together. WPLN’s Craig Havighurst reports.