Author Tim Sharp holds the Elizabeth G. Daughdrill Chair in Fine Art at Rhodes College, Memphis, where he is the dean of fine arts, directs the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts, and conducts the Rhodes Singers and Master Singers Chorale. Dr. Sharp is a life fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, where he continues his research on the life and music of German Moravians.
Nashville Music before Countryby Tim Sharp
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Nashville is a name synonymous with music. Years before the first radio broadcast of country music from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, music and publishing were central to Nashville’s self-identity. Thousands of songs flooded into the Cumberland and Tennessee River valleys from Southern Appalachia, sung by folk performers. These songs became the foundation for the folk-hymn traditions that grew throughout Tennessee. Into this stream flowed a body of African American spirituals, gospel, and minstrel songs. The arrival of trained German musicians brought classical styles to this gathering stream of musical confluences. These musicians found a home in the academies and businesses of Nashville. Nashville Music before Country is the story of how music merged with education, publication, entertainment, and distribution to set the stage for a unique musical metropolis. The images for Nashville Music before Country come from private collections as well as public libraries and archives.
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