Tennessee Department of Tourist Development presents December 2010 Rythm & News for industry partners of Tennessee
Articles Industry Trends Calendar Noteworthy Tips
A Message from
Commissioner Susan Whitaker

Dear Colleagues,

I’ve had the pleasure of traveling from one end of the state to the other this past month (tourism never stops in Tennessee!), and the holiday decorations at Graceland, Greeneville and all points in between are as unique and marvelous as ever. I know wonderful memories will be made once again this year, sowing the seeds for many return trips in the future.

Two of our destinations, each of them world-famous yet decidedly iconic Tennessee, deserve special recognition for their amazing accomplishments this month. First of all, a rousing cheer for Gaylord Opryland which in less than six months time transformed a horrific natural disaster into the most spectacular re-opening and media/sales event in the history of  tour and travel. Everything about the three day event was first class, combining business and entertainment with the precision and flair that the world has come to recognize as Gaylord Entertainment. Kudos to Chairman and CEO Colin Reed and all of the Gaylord Entertainment Stars – you certainly caught the world’s attention with the unmistakable message “Open for Business!”

In addition, huge congratulations to Ms. Dolly Parton and the entire Dollywood theme park organization for receiving The Applause Award, the most prestigious award in the entire international amusement and theme park industry! The Applause Award honors a park “whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development.” Previous winners include Epcot, Disneyland, Europa-Park and Silver Dollar City.

Dolly was on hand to accept the award at a special ceremony held in Orlando where she commented, “Our success over the last 25 years is because of the great team at Dollywood that I lovingly call my other family!” I know that all the people at Dollywood are extremely proud to be associated with such an incredible visionary and entertainment legend.

...the inaugural Civil War Sesquicentennial event was a history-making event in its own right.In addition to these two milestone events, it’s been a busy time all across the state. In November, the inaugural Civil War Sesquicentennial event was a history-making event in its own right.  People came from as far away as New York, Massachusetts and Michigan as well as all regions of Tennessee to commemorate this watershed moment in our nation’s history.

The two-day event featured presentations from Governor Phil Bredesen, country entertainer Trace Adkins, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Civil War re-enactors and scholars. Approximately 9000 people, many of them students, attended various events at numerous sites throughout downtown Nashville.

One of my favorite comments about the event came from the mother of ten year old Aspen Talbot who visited the re-enactment site in the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Aspen found the infirmary especially interesting and said she now wants to learn more about the period. Her mother, Laura, said the family had recently moved to Tennessee from Alaska where “they taught the basics about the War, but nothing like this!” Mission accomplished!

We also used this significant time to host a large group of travel writers who toured Civil War sites from Chattanooga to Nashville. This trip was the last of four state Civil War media tours this year. Over the next several months, these writers will be telling Tennessee’s unique Civil War stories in publications and on websites popular with the very important heritage traveler.

On December 1st, we launched the Walking Tall Trail, the fifth such launch in our Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program, with special events at Graceland in Memphis and the Buford Pusser House and Museum in Adamsville. One of sixteen regional trails, the Walking Tall Trail features 196 tourism sites in eight counties. Media interest was high, resulting in stories by USA Today Travel, the Associated Press, and Memphis, Nashville and Jackson TV stations and newspapers. The Trail program is a partnership between sixteen regions and the Tennessee Departments of Tourist Development and Transportation.

On the recreational tourism front, the Smith County Welcome Center opened a new access point to the beautiful Caney Fork River. This is a partnership among the Tennessee Departments of Transportation, Tourism and TWRA, providing anglers better access for rainbow, brown and brook trout. I can almost smell the fish fryin’ right now!

There are snowflakes falling outside my window this morning, signaling the arrival of another “tender Tennessee Christmas,” as Amy Grant so beautifully sings it. Throughout the state, tourism destinations and attractions have put on their colorful best, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors in unforgettable ways.

When we look back on what has been accomplished this past month, it is very clear that we are bountifully blessed with many gifts of natural resources, talent and creativity.  Congratulations and thanks to each of you for your continued commitment to exceed expectations for our visitors. It’s a gift that will keep on giving back to Tennessee and our communities for years to come.

Holiday blessings to each of you and your loved ones!

Susan Whitaker

Featured Articles:

Walking Tall Trail Launched

Dwana Pusser with Daughter Atoyia, Mary Beth Hopper,
Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker and
TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges at Unveiling

The Tennessee Departments of Tourist Development and Transportation, in partnership with the Southwest Tennessee Tourism Association and tourism organizations in eight counties, launched the Walking Tall Trail on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The opening event was held at the Buford Pusser Home and Museum in Adamsville followed by the official launch of the trail at Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley in Memphis.

The fifth of 16 self-guided driving trails in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program, Walking Tall features 196 tourism sites in Memphis, Shelby County and seven surrounding counties as well as 360 miles of historic sites, preserved homes, eateries and museums.

Led by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Walking Tall Trail is the result of multiple state agencies working together, as well as city and county officials in Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Henderson, Madison, McNairy and Shelby counties.

Kevin Kern of Graceland Stands at Podium while
Phyllis Fickling, Paul Degges, Dwana Pusser,
Commissioner Whitaker and Kevin Kane
Unveil the Official Sign

“There is much to discover and enjoy on the Walking Tall Trail in West Tennessee, named in honor of the legendary Sheriff Buford Pusser,” said Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker. “From such world-famous sites as Graceland to off the beaten path barbecue venues, visitors will find plenty to explore in the eight counties.”

The Walking Tall Trail, which originates at Graceland, takes travelers from Memphis along West Tennessee's rural highways, exploring the history of music legends Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Carl Perkins and others. It ventures through charming small towns and pauses at Shiloh National Military Park, as well as at the home of legendary Sheriff Buford Pusser. Along the trail, stop off in Selmer to see brooms made the old-fashioned way. World-famous barbecue and catfish are plentiful and the quiet natural beauty of West Tennessee is an attraction on its own.

“Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways is proud to launch its fifth trail," said Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Tennessee Department of Transportation. "The Walking Tall Trail offers historical, cultural and geographical significance to its visitors."


Governor Phil Bredesen Addresses
Sesquicentennial Audience at TPAC

Sesquicentennial Inaugural Event

The Inaugural Sesquicentennial Signature Event, held Nov. 12 and 13, was a huge success with nearly 9,000 attendees on both days. Governor Phil Bredesen kicked off the event which was hosted by Tennessee’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. 

"It is important to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War so that we will never forget the cost of that war, including the loss of life, human suffering and the strain of the war on a nation and her people," said Governor Phil Bredesen. "Most importantly, remembering the Civil War reminds us of the enduring hope and resiliency of our country.”

To signal the kick-off of the five-year Sesquicentennial commemoration, Porter’s Tennessee Battery (C.S.) fired four cannons from Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Visitors of all ages were drawn to the Living History event which included U.S. and C.S. Infantry and Artillery Drills, blacksmith demonstrations, civilian activities and Civil War medical demonstrations.

"Tennessee's Inaugural Sesquicentennial event was a history-making event in its own right," said Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. "People came from as far away as New York, Massachusetts and Michigan and as nearby as neighboring counties to honor the memory of Tennessee's Civil War past and to look ahead to the next five years of important milestone events. Tennessee is leading the way in commemorating this watershed moment in our nation's history."

Commissioner Whitaker Makes Presentation
at Sesquicentennial Event

Civil War period flags were posted by the U.S. Colored Troops Infantry and the Randal McGavock Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall, at the inaugural commemorative program.

There were historical discussions, stories and reenactments in addition to music by the internationally acclaimed Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Nashville Children’s Choir as well as a special appearance by country superstar Trace Adkins. Events were held at the Tennessee State Capitol, Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, War Memorial Building, Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. State-sponsored activities were held in downtown Nashville throughout the two-day event.  Tennessee’s Civil War Trails communities and their efforts in sustaining the state’s Civil War history were recognized.

The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, appointed by Gov. Bredesen, leads a statewide effort to promote, fund and preserve the complete story of Tennessee’s Civil War and its legacy

USCT represent Tennessee in Pennsylvania Grand Review
Governor Rendell Honors Troops 

The 1865 Grand Review of US Colored Troops was commemorated recently in Harrisburg, Pennyslvania. More than 100 re-enactors participated, including the 13th United States Colored Troops of Murfreesboro and the 44th United States Colored Troops of Chattanooga. The twenty-five individuals who made the trip from Tennessee represented the Volunteer State in grand military style. These committed men who serve as re-enactors strive to encourage African American populations to recognize and appreciate the extreme sacrifices made by their ancestors in the quest for freedom and citizenship in the United States of America.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell honored the United States Colored Troops of the Civil War and their descendants on the front steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg.  In a letter to Governor Rendell, Governor Bredesen wrote, “This event, which recognizes the United States Colored Troops and their families, serves as a vivid reminder of the role these men played in such a significant event in our country.”

As the nation prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Pennsylvania commemorated the history of the soldiers who participated in a story largely unknown to most Americans – the Pennsylvania Grand Review. This November 1865 event of the same name was organized by the women of Harrisburg to honor the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) from 25 states who were not permitted to participate in the Grand Review of the Armies, a military procession and celebration held May 23-24, 1865 in Washington, D.C., following the end of the Civil War.

Little Joseph Green, the Great-Great-Great Grandson
of Frederick Douglass, was Among the USCT Troops
who were Honored by Pennsylvania Governor Rendell

“It was an honor to represent Tennessee in this event and to bring awareness to the role African American soldiers played in this pivotal war, said Norm Hill, a re-enactor who participated in the event and a member of the Tennessee Sesquicentennial Commission. Fellow Commission member, Bill Radcliffe, also took part in the event.

As history notes, there were approximately 180,000 members of the Colored Troops who fought in the Civil War and by the end of the war, 24,000 of them were Tennesseans. This event and others, will create conversation, stir interest, develop an appreciation for history, as well as acknowledge the role the American Civil War played in the lives of all Americans.

The 2010 Pennsylvania Grand Review included exhibitions, presentations, and conservation projects that revealed the hidden histories of the USCT. The commemoration took place November 4-7 in Harrisburg.  Cracker Barrel provided meals for the group during their travel and stay in Pennsylvania.

Travel Writers Tours

Tennessee Aquarium’s Thom Benson
Shares a River Gorge Explorer Ride
with Travel Writers

The November FAM proved to be another success for all participants. The familiarization tour highlighted Civil War sites, Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways and more in Chattanooga, Nashville and surrounding areas.

The Weider History Group, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel AAA Go! Carolina, Country Living Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Southern Living, The Tennessean and New York Daily News were just some of the publications the 19 journalists represented. Some of the sites and attractions on the itinerary included the Tennessee River Gorge Explorer, Tennessee Aquarium, Pie in the Sky Trail, Rock City Gardens, Chickamauga/Chattanooga Battlefield, George Dickel Distillery, Jack Daniel Distillery, The Carter House, Carnton Plantation, the Grand Ole Opry and the Belle Meade Plantation.

This tour was especially unique as participants were able to experience the “Birth of Impressionism” exhibit at The Frist Center for Visual Arts showcasing 100 masterpieces of mid-to-late 19th-century French paintings. Journalists ended the week at Tennessee’s Inaugural Civil War Sesquicentennial event in downtown Nashville. Live reenactments, historical discussions and more completed the Civil War experience for each of the writers.

The state sponsored FAM tours, facilitated by Geiger and Associates, give journalists the wonderful opportunity to experience Tennessee through each of the focused tracks.

Smith County Welcome Center Now Has Access to Caney Fork

Caney Fork River Near Smith County
Welcome Center

Anglers now have new access to the Caney Fork River in Smith County thanks to a partnership between the Tennessee Departments of Transportation Tourist Development and the Wildlife Resources Agency.  A new parking area and access trail to the Caney Fork River is now open at the I-40 Welcome Center in Smith County.  The new access area was developed to provide safe, legal access to the popular river for fishing.  The Welcome Center, located at mile marker 26, can be reached by both eastbound and westbound traffic on I-40. 

“The Caney Fork River is widely known as a great place for trout fishing and the new access area at the I-40 Welcome Center will provide anglers with a safe place to park and fish,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely.  “This new access area will help reduce illegal parking and trespassing on private property to gain entry to the river.”

The Caney Fork River is routinely stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout.  Special trout regulations apply and a fishing license with trout privileges is required. 

“Thousands of anglers make trips to the Caney Fork River each year to enjoy trout fishing," said Tourist Development Commissioner Susan Whitaker.  "We are pleased to partner with the Department of Transportation and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to provide better access to this popular fishing destination.”

The angler parking area is connected to a road within the existing Welcome Center and provides parking for 12 vehicles.  Signs are posted designating the area as “Angler Parking.”  Information on parking area rules, safety information and special trout regulations are also posted in the parking area.  The site provides walk-in access to the Caney Fork River. 

The Caney Fork River flows are regulated by Center Hill Dam, so anglers should check the Tennessee Valley Authority’s water release schedules before fishing.  The schedule can be found on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s website at www.tva.gov/lakes/cnh_r.htm or by calling 1-800-238-2264. 

Sustainable Tourism Workshop in Memphis Rescheduled

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Tennessee Sustainable Tourism green certification workshop scheduled for Nov. 30 in Memphis was postponed until a later date.

The workshop is a part of a state-wide series in the Department of Tourist Development’s on-going Sustainable Tourism initiative.  The certification workshop is designed to facilitate discussions and solicit partner input regarding the development of a state green certification program for the tour and travel industry.  Additionally information is provided on sustainable tourism resources, case studies, best practices and access to leading experts.

For more information, please contact Patricia Gray at patricia.gray@tn.gov or (615) 741-9004 or Lee Curtis at lee.curtis@tn.gov or (615) 741-9045. Visit tnsustainabletourism.com for additional information.

Civil War Trails

Civil War Trail Marker in Coffee County

Tullahoma Unveils Civil War Markers

The first Civil War Trail Marker for Coffee County was placed in the Maplewood Confederate Cemetery in Tullahoma during the month of November.  Mayor Troy Bisby and Louis Baltz, III from the city of Tullahoma joined Commissioner Susan Whitaker along with Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission member, Dr. Michael Bradley.  Commissioner Whitaker serves as the co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission along with Dr. Carroll Van West. Dr. Van West is also Executive Director of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.   

This Civil War Trails marker denotes the “hallowed ground” at the mass grave area in Maplewood Cemetery where more than 500 Confederate soldiers were buried. Tullahoma was the headquarters and logistics center of the Army of Tennessee for the first six months of 1863 following the Battle of Murfreesboro. The Tullahoma Confederate Association continues to maintain the cemetery.  

The Tennessee Civil War Trails is part of a multi-state sustainable heritage tourism program that identifies, interprets and creates driving tours of both the great campaigns and the lesser known Civil War sites.  With the upcoming Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the trails program will further highlight Civil War tourism in Tennessee.   Through the installation of the marker, Tullahoma will be included in a statewide map-guide and listed on Civil War Trails websites and TDOT rights of way. More than 200 markers will be installed by the end of the year in 77 counties.The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development was awarded a two-part federal enhancement grant, totaling more than $1 million which is an 80/20 match through the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Looking Back Looks at Anderson County

The Looking Back project, sponsored by the Tennessee Library and Archives will travel to Clinton for its next stop. The event will be held December 9 from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Museum of Apppalachia, located at 2819 Andersonville Highway.

Staff of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) are continuing to travel throughout the state in search of Civil War memorabilia. The project allows local citizens to bring their Civil War artifacts to be digitized or donated to the TSLA.  Additionally, the scanning event is open to all individuals who are interested in preserving Tennessee’s Civil War history through the digitization of historic materials. 

Interested persons are encouraged to consult the guidelines and eligibility requirements before scheduling a reservation.  For more information, contact Jami Awalt at 615.253-3470.

Tourism Participates in 2010 Career Exploration Fair

Students Learn About Culinary Arts at Exploration Fair

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development joined nearly 130 companies showcasing nearly 340 careers at the 2010 Career Exploration Fair sponsored by the Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.  More than 4000 ninth graders were excited by the many career offerings.

Mayor Karl Dean and the CEO Champions (Chief Executive Officers who have pledged to support the MNPS) participated in the event. They talked with students, learned their interests and gained insight about the fair.  “Thanks to exhibitors and participants our ninth grade students have a better understanding of career opportunities and how to prepare for them, said Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools for MNPS.  He added, “In Metro Nashville Public Schools, we believe all students can achieve at high levels and that each student has unique abilities. Community involvement makes our schools strong.”

Tourism marketing director, Paula Hankins was asked a very direct question, “Do you enjoy your job?”  Her answer, “Yes, I absolutely do!”   Paula, along with Leah Caudle, Renuka Christoph, Dave Jones, Monica Jones and Phyllis Qualls-Brooks had great experiences talking to the students about careers in tourism and how rewarding and fun the job is.

The collaboration included entrepreneurs and artists, tourism attractions and hoteliers, musicians and business people, higher education professionals and brick layers, bankers and nonprofit professionals, government officials and journalists, restaurateurs and public safety workers, and many more Nashvillians who care about our public school students.

This is the second year the fair has been held and has been praised as a great success for students, parents, teachers and the business community.

Facts & Trends


Tennessee Tourism Promotes Last Minute Deals

The percentage of American leisure travelers who take last minute trips is growing.  Findings in the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of American Travelers (SM) study revealed that three out of ten (27%) took a shortly planned trip last year…doing so on an average of six days prior to their departure.

“Clearly, one of the market forces accelerating this trend is the growing use of “flash sales” by travel service suppliers,” according to Peter Yesawich.

These offers are delivered through unsolicited emails in an attempt to liquidate unsold inventory.  One out of seven recipients of “flash sales” information report purchasing a travel service.  Of the deals booked, 47% was for airfare and lodging.  However, the booking of a complete vacation package (38%) or a cruise (21%) is unprecedented.

NOTE:  The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) has responded to this trend with the creation of a new program called Tennessee Travel Tuesdays (T3).   Travelers can connect on Facebook and Twitter  for the latest T3 news or sign up to have it delivered to your inbox! Or Text 'T3' to 95613 to receive text messages.

Another indication of the trend toward last minute vacation behavior is the growing number of leisure travelers who took a vacation in their local area (26%). 

NOTE:  TDTD has printed and online tools for those who choose to stay and play in Tennessee:

•    Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways 

•    Tennessee Civil War Trails

•    Tennessee Tourism Emails

•    Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter

•    The latest Tennessee Vacation Guide and Tnvacation.com

Business Travelers Anticipate More Trips in 2011

Business travelers are anticipating an increase in corporate travel for 2011, according to a new survey from Deloitte.  By the end of 2011, 80 percent of business travelers surveyed predict they will take more or the same number of business trips than they did in 2010, with a similar number (79 percent) of respondents indicating that they will also spend more or the same. 

When asked how their 2010 travel levels would net out, the majority of these business travel survey respondents (71 percent) said they anticipated taking more or the same number of business trips. Only 29 percent of business travelers expected less travel in 2010. The Deloitte LLP survey taken in September 2010 also found that amenities and technology are key in hotels differentiating themselves among a majority of business travelers.  

Welcome Center

James Smith

Employee of the Month

A wise man once said, “A worker may be the hammer's master, but the hammer still prevails.” Well in the case of this month’s Tennessee Welcome Center Employee of the Month, the worker prevails!

James Smith, Building Maintenance Worker I at the I-75 Hamilton County (Chattanooga) Welcome Center, has been employed with the Department of Tourist Development since August 2009.  Most recently, James has done an incredible job refinishing the exterior doors and wood trim at the welcome center. 

The doors look much better now than they did when they were brand new!  "James is an impactful worker," said Jan Elliott, I-75 Welcome Center Manager.  "Whatever project James tackles, it is done meticulously.  He also has a great sense of humor and never has a bad day, at least we don't know about it if he does.  James gives everything that 'something extra' and it always shows."

Industry Applause

Industry Applause is designed to highlight and recognize the achievements of our industry partners.

Dollywood Wins Industry’s Prestigious Applause Awards

Dollywood was recently honored with the 2010 Applause Award, the most prestigious award within the amusement and theme park industry. The award honors a park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development. 

The award is presented every other year by Liseberg Amusement Park located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Entertainment legend and Dollywood namesake Dolly Parton accepted the award for the park during a special ceremony at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 16. In addition, Dollywood's live entertainment won two International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions Brass Ring Awards for Excellence in Live Entertainment. With 17 Brass Ring Awards, Dollywood has won more than any other theme park in the world.

Gaylord Opryland, Nashville

Gaylord Opryland Resort Now Open

The iconic Gaylord Opryland Resort, which had been closed for repair due to the historic May 2 flooding, reopened its doors Nov. 15. Official grand reopening celebrations continued Nov. 18-20.

Several new features were unveiled at the reopening, such as a completely remodeled Cascades Lobby and Cascades Terrace Bar, as well as the Ristorante Volare and Jack Daniel's Saloon restaurants. In addition, a new Mexican restaurant, redesigned guestrooms in the Magnolia section and renovated Presidential suites were introduced.

The grand reopening of the resort also comes just in time for the much-anticipated 27th annual "A Country Christmas," featuring family-friendly shows and activities and 2 million twinkling lights that are the hallmark of the world-famous event.

Music City Lives Up to Name

Nashville was named No. 1 for Live Music/Concerts and Bands, Affordable Getaway and Affordable Hotels in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s annual America's Favorite Cities survey.

The America's Favorite Cities ranking lines up with a recent branding survey conducted by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau in which 99.1 percent of respondents said Music City lives up to its name/reputation. Nashville was not only highlighted in this year's Travel + Leisure survey for its music and affordability, but also fared well in other categories including: #3 Friendly, #4 Barbecue, #5 Antique stores, #6 Vintage shops and flea markets, #6 Safety,  #7 Hamburgers and #7 Wild Weekend. For the complete list of Nashville's rankings visit www.travelandleisure.com/americas-favorite-cities/2010/city/nashville.

14th Annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards Honors Music Legends

The 14th Annual W.C. Handy Heritage Awards, held Nov. 14, celebrated the 137th birthday of W.C. Handy, “Father of the Blues,” and honored authentic Beale Street musicians and other musical artists.

This year’s awards were dedicated to the memory of Grammy Award winner, producer, composer and recording artist, Willie Mitchell, whose legacy has impacted music throughout the world. The Master Musician Award was presented to the Willie Mitchell family. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Famer, Booker T. Jones, whose masterful compositions at Stax Recording Company helped to create the Memphis Soul Sound. Other artists to be awarded were Archie Turner; Carl Drew; Johnny Scott; Soul Breed; Errol Thomas; Barbara Perry Wright; Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg; and “Sleepy” John Estes.

Ruby Falls Gift Supports UT’s Center for Sustainable Business and Tourism

The Center for Sustainable Business and Tourism at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville received recently a contribution from Ruby Falls to support sustainability efforts identified by the center.

The CSBT engages in research and outreach projects with collaborative partners and communities to develop and promote products and services that emphasize sustainability. The donation will aid in helping the center further advance its initiatives of providing operational solutions, improving quality of life, developing sustainable business models and promoting green tourism.

Beale Street, Memphis

Memphis Leads All Cities as the Most Mentioned in Recorded Songs

The Memphis Rock ‘N Soul Museum recently released a comprehensive list of commercially recorded songs that mention the city of Memphis, the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n roll. The list shows Memphis is mentioned in 1,074 songs, featuring more than 800 unique titles, making it the most mentioned city in recorded song lyrics.

The list, which can be viewed at http://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/over1000songs, is expected to grow with new titles submitted daily. Artists that appear on the list include Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and more.

Lotz House Receives Historic Preservation Marker

The Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities recently placed Williamson County's first APTA historic marker at the Lotz House in Franklin.

The Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities is the oldest statewide nonprofit historic preservation organization in the state of Tennessee and is the fourth oldest in the nation. 

Secret City Festival, Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge Honored with Two Top 20 Events Designations for Southeast Tourism Society

The Secret City continues to make a name for itself across the country. The Secret City Festival and the Department of Energy Facilities Public Bus Tour both received the prominent "Top 20 Events" designation from the Southeast Tourism Society.

This is the second time the Secret City Festival has been awarded a Top 20 Events designation from STS and the first time the Bus Tour has been honored. Tennessee reaped a total of nine Top 20 designations for Spring 2011, including the Dogwood Arts Festival in Knoxville; Rivers & Spires Festival in Clarksville; Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis; National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg; International Dogwood Festival in Winchester; Bloomin' Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival in Sevierville; and Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales in Gatlinburg.

Nashville Public Library Wins Prestigious Award for Museum and Library Service

Nashville Public Library was recently awarded the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Medals are awarded to museums and libraries that make extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental and social contributions to the communities they serve.

The library will receive $10,000 and a visit from StoryCorps. Several NPL programs were recognized, including the Bringing Books to Life program and the Limitless Libraries collection development and resource-sharing partnership with Metro high schools.

Darryl Worley, Flanked by Hospital and Local
Officials, Cuts the Ribbon for the Cancer Center
in Savannah

Country Star Opens Cancer Treatment Center in Savannah

Country musician Darryl Worley opened the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center Nov. 3. Located on the campus of the Hardin Medical Center in Savannah, Tenn., cancer patients will now be able to receive radiation and chemotherapy without the long drives currently required of many who seek these treatments.

Margaritaville Opens in Nashville

Mayor Karl Dean cut the ribbon at the opening of the much-anticipated Margaritaville in downtown Nashville Nov. 22. The restaurant will offer live music seven days a week, featuring local bands on three stages.

Final First Lady Series of 2010 Presented Sweet Sounds of Tennessee

November’s “First Lady Series” presented a variety of musical styles in an event entitled, “Country, Folk, Gospel and Soul: The Sweet Sounds of Tennessee,”  featuring Robert Oermann, a respected music critic, author and historian, and friends.

The First Lady Series is a monthly event hosted by Andrea Conte in Conservation Hall.  The November event was the final in this series for the First Lady. Previous topics included a student town hall with Tennessee’s gubernatorial candidates; a discussion on the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee; a lecture on the role women played during the Civil War; a panel discussion on the rise of partisan politics; and the impact of war on families.

Dr. Bobby Jones, emcee at the NAACP Image
Awards congratulates Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks
on her nomination. Photo Courtesy of Studio
One Production

Congratulations to Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks  

Dr. Qualls-Brooks was nominated for an Image Award in Education sponsored by the Nashville Branch of the NAACP.  She was in a category with long-standing  community leaders in education.  Her work with the education initiative in tourism as well as her leadership in the field of education during her professional career led to this outstanding nomination.

Quote of the Month

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
- John F. Kennedy


Tennessee, The Stage is Set For You

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