Tootsie Bess, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Kid Rock and Ernest Tubb Earn Stars on Nashville’s Music Mile
Nashville, Tenn. – Music City, Inc. today announced the seventh class of inductees to the Music City Walk of Fame, presented by founding sponsor Gibson Guitar: Tootsie Bess, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Kid Rock and Ernest Tubb. The honorees will be recognized officially with the unveiling of commemorative sidewalk markers on Sunday, November 8, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Park in downtown Nashville. The induction ceremony, which is sponsored by Great American Country (GAC), is free and open to the public.
The Music City Walk of Fame is an official project of Music City, Inc., the charitable foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau (NCVB), and is produced with the support of presenting sponsor Gibson Guitar and sponsors GAC, the City of Nashville and Metro Parks. Additional sponsors include Makers Mark and Hard Rock Café.
“We are pleased to honor the amazing accomplishments of this class of inductees,” said Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Each honoree represents the immense talent, creativity and diversity that have made Nashville, Music City.”
Created in the fall of 2006, the Music City Walk of Fame, on Nashville’s Music Mile, is a landmark tribute to those from all genres of music who have made significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration. With the induction of this new class of honorees, there will be 42 total stars along the Walk of Fame.
Permanent sidewalk medallions made of stainless steel and terrazzo, with each honoree’s name displayed in a star-and-guitar design, will be installed in the sidewalk along the Music Mile. The plaques for this class of inductees will be inlaid in Hall of Fame Park on Demonbreun, between 4thth Avenues South. and 5
Nominations were open to the public and accepted in the categories of Artist, Musician, Songwriter, and Producer/Music Industry Executive. Application forms were reviewed by the Music City Walk of Fame anonymous selection committee.
“Gibson Guitar is a proud sponsor of the Music City Walk of Fame which continues to celebrate the vast wealth of talent that originates in Nashville,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. “This class of inductees is no exception. From Dolly Parton to Charlie Daniels, from Tootsie Bess to Ernest Tubb and Kid Rock, all of these exceptional artists have helped solidify Nashville’s place in music history.”
The November inductees for the Music City Walk of Fame:
Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess was a well-known and well-loved member of Nashville’s music scene. She purchased Mom’s bar in 1960. The bar backed up to the legendary Ryman Auditorium and was popular among those who performed there. Tootsie credits a painter with helping to re-name the bar when he painted her place orchid…thus the name Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
Without her, musicians and performers like Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings or Hank Williams may not have reached the heights of stardom that they did. Willie Nelson got his first songwriting job after singing at Tootsie’s.
She would hire down on their luck writers and pickers so they could support their families, feeding them while they worked and often slipping $5 and $10 bills in their pockets as they left for the night. She kept a cigar box full of IOU’s from those very same artists under the counter, and it’s said that, at the end of every year, grateful Opry performers would band together to pay off those IOU’s so that Tootsie could afford to stay in business. Charlie Pride gave her the jeweled hatpin that she used to stick unruly patrons.
A singer/comedienne herself, Tootsie performed with “Big Jeff & The Radio Playboys” lead by her husband Jeff Bess. She recorded “My Little Red Wagon” and “Tootsie’s Wall of Fame.”
Grant Turner, the Opry announcer, said, “You could leave Tootsie’s at 7:58 and still be on stage at the Opry at 8 o’clock.” So many did just that.
“She ran a beer joint,” said Tom T. Hall, “but to young songwriters and musicians, she was a small finance company, a booking agent and a counselor.
Maybe Ernest Tubb put it even better: “Tootsie,” he said, “was the softest touch in town.”
Charlie Daniels is partly Western and partly Southern. His signature “bullrider” hat and belt buckle, his lifestyle on the Twin Pines Ranch, his love of horses, cowboy lore and the heroes of championship rodeo identify him as a Westerner. The son of a lumberjack and a Southerner by birth, his music – rock, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel – is quintessentially Southern.
It hasn’t been so much a style of music, but more the values consistently reflected in his music that has connected Charlie Daniels with millions of fans. For decades, he has steadfastly refused to label his music as anything other than “CDB music,” music that has helped elect an American President, is sung around the fire at scout camps, and has been popularized on a variety of radio formats. It’s music that spans 50 years of record-making and represents more than 20 million in sales.
Daniels was raised on a musical diet that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, and the rhythm & blues and country music emanating respectively from Nashville’s 50,000-watt mega-broadcasters WLAC and WSM. He graduated from high school in 1955 and enlisted in the rock n’ roll revolution ignited by Elvis Presley. Already skilled on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, Daniels formed a rock n’ roll band and hit the road.
While on the road the band recorded “Jaguar,” an instrumental produced by Bob Johnston, which was picked up for national distribution by Epic. It was the beginning of a long association with Johnston. The two wrote “It Hurts Me,” which became the B side of a 1964 Presley hit. In 1969, at the urging of Johnston, Daniels moved to middle Tennessee to find work as a session guitarist in Nashville.
Among his more notable sessions were: the Bob Dylan albums of 1969-70, Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Self Portrait; the Youngbloods albums of 1969-70, Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind; and records with artists as different as Al Kooper and Marty Robbins.
Daniels broke through as a record maker himself with 1973′s Honey in the Rock and its hit hippie song “Uneasy Rider.” His rebel anthems “Long Haired Country Boy” and “The South’s Gonna Do It” propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to Double Platinum status.
Following stints with Capitol and Kama Sutra, Epic Records signed him to its rock roster in 1976. The contract was the largest ever given to a Nashville act up to that time. In the summer of 1979 Daniels rewarded the company’s faith by delivering “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which became a platinum single, topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, became an international phenomenon, earned three Country Music Association trophies, became a cornerstone of the Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack and propelled Daniel’s Million Mile Reflections album to triple platinum sales levels.
The album’s title was a reference to The Charlie Daniels Band’s legendary coast to coast tours. Including two drummers, twin guitars, and a flamenco dancer, the CDB often toured more than 250 days a year and by this time had logged more than a million miles on the road. By 1981, the Charlie Daniels Band had twice been voted the Academy of Country Music’s Touring Band of the Year.
Daniels’ annual Volunteer Jam concerts always featured a variety of current stars and heritage artists and are considered by historians as his most impressive contribution to Southern music. Artists featured at the mega-musical samplers inlcude: Roy Acuff, Don Henley, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, James Brown, Pat Boone, Dwight Yoakam, Bill Monroe, Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Ted Nugent, Billy Joel, the Marshall Tucker Band, Little Richard, B. B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Bobby Jones and the New Life Singers.
His resume includes recording sessions with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Flatt & Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Mark O’Connor, Leonard Cohen and Ringo Starr. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley and Tammy Wynette. This touring legend has been documented by ABC Newsmagazine 20/20.
In April 1998, top stars and two former Presidents paid tribute to Daniels when he was named the recipient of the Pioneer Award at the Academy of Country Music’s annual nationally televised ceremonies. And, in January 2008, Charlie’s life long dream became a reality. He was inducted as a full-fledged member into the Grand Ole Opry.
An internationally-renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of music entertainment, penning classic songs such as “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and her mega-hit “I’ll Always Love You.” With 1977’s crossover hit “Here You Come Again,” she successfully erased the line between country and pop music without noticeably altering either her music or her image.
Making her film debut in the 1980 hit comedy 9 to 5, Dolly earned rave reviews for her performance and an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, along with her second and third Grammy Awards. Roles in Steel Magnolias, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, and Straight Talk followed along with two network television series, made for television movies, network and HBO specials and guest-starring roles in series television. In 2006, Dolly earned her second Oscar nomination for “Travelin Thru,” which she wrote for the film Transamerica.
Dolly Parton’s remarkable life began very humbly. Born on a farm in Sevier County, Tenn. Dolly is the fourth of twelve children. Her parents, Robert Lee and Avie Lee Parton struggled to make ends meet in the impoverished East Tennessee hills. This hard rural life was the foundation of Dolly’s career, as she began singing almost before she could talk according to her father. By age 10, she was performing on local television and radio shows in nearby Knoxville.
Dolly left for Nashville the day after her high school graduation. On her first afternoon here, she met a man, Carl Dean, who would become her husband. Two years later, in May 1966, there were married.
In 1967, Dolly’s career took off when country music superstar Porter Wagoner began featuring her on his popular syndicated television show, exposing Dolly to over 45 million people in more than 100 markets and attracting the attention of record executives at RCA. Dolly and Porter have 14 Top Ten hits together and Dolly quickly blossomed into one of the best-selling country artists in music history. By 1974, Dolly ended her working relationship with Wagoner. She was voted the Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year two years in a row, and in 1978 she was named the CMA Entertainer of the Year.
Dolly saw a cherished dream become reality in 1986 with the opening of her own theme park called Dollywood at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The state’s number one attraction, Dollywood was selected by the theme park industry as one of the top three theme parks in the world in 2006.
In 1988, she began the Dollywood Foundation to inspire children in her home community to dream more, learn more, do more and care more. Currently, the Foundation funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library across America and in Canada, by giving every preschool child a book each month from the time the child is born until he or she reaches kindergarten. The Library has given away 6.1 million books in 2009 and 23 million books since its inception.
Also, in 1988, Dolly founded a group of dinner attractions called Dixie Stampede and in 2001 she built Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dolly’s entertainment businesses draw 4.5 million visitors annually and employ more than 3,000 people.
Long respected for her business savvy, Dolly established Velvet Apple Music (BMI) early in her career. She also owns her own successful record label, Dolly Records.
Dolly Parton transitioned her flair for making hit music into producing hit movies and television shows when she established Sandollar Productions with former manager, Sandy Gallin. Sandollar has produced feature films such as Father of the Bride I and II, Straight Talk, Sabrina, Shining Through, IQ, and the Academy Award-winning Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt along with television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Babes.
Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. She has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top ten country albums, and 10 career charted singles. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hit collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her career have topped a staggering 100 million records world-wide.
She has garnered 7 Grammy Awards, 10 CMA Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year award.
Always dreaming and always looking forward, Dolly is busier than ever. A Broadway musical of her life story is in the works, and she is working on various children’s projects, but these are just a few of her interests at this moment. The phenomenon of Dolly Parton continues to flourish, as she remains one of the world’s true superstars.
The incomparable Ernest Tubb became a legend as much for what he was personally as for the half-century career that stretched from his first radio date in 1932 to his death in 1984. Tubb is country music personified. He was among the first of the honky tonk singers and the first to achieve national recognition.
The youngest of five children, Tubb was born in Ellis County, Tex. Early in his adolescence, Tubb was attracted to the music of Rodgers. By his late teens he had picked up the guitar on the advice of a friend and fellow guitarist named Merwyn Buffington. Following Rodgers’ death in May of 1933, Tubb decided that he wanted to pursue a musical career and emulate his idol. He hooked up with Buffington, who convinced his employers the Castleman Brothers to let Tubb sing as a guest vocalist, and soon Ernest had his own regular early-morning show.
Decca Records agreed to record him in April of 1940, and one of the resulting singles, “Blue Eyed Elaine.” Decca agreed to sign him to a longer contract by the end of the year, by which time he had also had a regular radio show sponsored by the flour company Gold Chain.
Early in 1941, he cut several new songs, this time backed by Fay “Smitty” Smith, a staff electric guitarist for KGKO radio. The first single released from these sessions was “Walking the Floor Over You.” Over the next few months, the single became a massive hit, eventually selling over a million copies. “Walking the Floor Over You” was the first honky tonk song, launching not only Tubb’s career but also the musical genre itself.
By the end of 1942, he was headed to Nashville. Upon his arrival in January of 1943, he joined the Grand Ole Opry and became the first musician to use an electric guitar in the Opry.
Early in 1947, he opened the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, which he promoted through the Midnight Jamboree, a radio program he designed to fill the post-Opry slot on the radio. That year, he also became the first country star to play Carnegie Hall in New York, signaling just how much he had done to increase country music’s popularity across the U.S.
During 1949, he hit the height of his popularity, charting an astonishing 13 hit singles during the course of the year which is even more remarkable considering that the chart only had 15 positions each week. Most of those songs were classics, including “Have You Ever Been Lonely? (Have You Ever Been Blue),” “Let’s Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello,” “I’m Biting My Fingernails and Thinking of You” (a collaboration with the Andrews Sisters), “Slipping Around,” and “Blue Christmas.” The following year, he had 11 hit singles, including “I Love You Because” and “Throw Your Love My Way,” plus several hit duets with Red Foley, including “Tennessee Border No. 2″ and the number one “Goodnight Irene.”
Beginning in 1964, Decca had him record a series of duets with Loretta Lynn, and over the next five years he made three albums and had four hit singles: “Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be,” “Our Hearts Are Holding Hands,” “Sweet Thang,” and “Who’s Gonna Take the Garbage Out.”
In 1966, Tubb was diagnosed with emphysema and in spite of the doctors’ warnings, he continued to tour and record actively. Tubb became the sixth member to be inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1965, and in 1970, he was one of the first artists inducted to the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame.
Tubb succumbed to emphysema on September 6, 1984, leaving behind an enormous legacy that helped shape the face of contemporary country music.
Detroit rap-rocker Kid Rock shot to superstardom with his fourth full-length album, 1998′s Devil Without a Cause. What made it so shocking was that Rock had recorded his first demo a full decade before, been booted off major label Jive following his Beastie Boys-ish 1990 debut, Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast, and toiled for most of the decade in obscurity, releasing albums to a small, devoted, mostly local fan base while earning his fair share of ridicule around his home state. Nevertheless, Rock persevered, and by the time rap-metal had begun to attract a substantial audience, he had perfected the outlandish, over-the-top persona that gave Devil Without a Cause such a distinctive personality and made it such an infectious party record.
Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie (born Robert James Ritchie, January 17, 1971) grew up in Romeo, MI, a small rural town north of the Detroit metro area. Finding small-town life stiflingly dull, Ritchie immersed himself in rap music, learned to breakdance, and began making the talent-show rounds in Detroit
Moving to Brooklyn, Rock hooked up with the small Continuum label, and moved his brand of rap further into hard rock with The Polyfuze Method, released in 1993. The EP Fire It Up followed in 1994, appearing on Rock’s own Top Dog imprint. Rock eventually returned to the Detroit area and began work on another album; recorded on a shoestring budget, Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp was released in 1996. Rock set about forming a full-fledged backing band, which he dubbed Twisted Brown Trucker.
As rap-metal acts like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Rage Against the Machine began to dominate the hard rock landscape, Atlantic Records decided to take a chance on signing Rock. Devil Without a CauseDevil, Rock acquired the rights to his indie label recordings and remixed or re-recorded the best material for The History of Rock, which was released in the summer of 2000 and featured some new songs as well. didn’t do much upon its initial release in August 1998, but a big promotional push from the label and MTV helped make the album’s second single and video, “Bawitdaba,” a nationwide smash. The follow-up, “Cowboy,” achieved similar success, and suddenly, after a decade of trying, Kid Rock was a superstar with a Top Five, seven-times-platinum album and a gig at Woodstock ’99. While pondering how to follow up
Rock continued work on his follow-up to Devil Without a Cause. His DJ, Uncle Kracker, had a successful solo career during the spring and summer of 2001, leaving Rock without one of his most frequent collaborators. Still, by the winter of that year he had completed work on Cocky and had released “Forever” to success on rock radio. In fall 2003, Kid Rock returned with a self-titled effort. A cover of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” marked the first single. The cover art to his 2006 live album, Live Trucker, paid tribute to Bob Seger’s Live Bullet. Just a year later the studio record Rock N Roll Jesus came out.
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