Discover Cheatham County 2020 visitors guide


historical introduction by Patrick Smith, cheatham County historical & genealogical association

Famed musician, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Dan Fogelberg lived on a farm in Kingston Springs out- side of Nashville until 1975. He moved to the area as a teenager in 1972. Fo- gelberg recorded his first album, "Home Free," in Nashville and wrote his hit song, “Part of the Plan” while here. The county itself was celebrated in song in 1936 by Opry member Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith , who recorded "Chittlin' Cookin' Time in Cheatham County." In the song, a potential suitor yearns to court a Cheatham County chitlin’ cook- er for “he has a longin’ that a mess of chitlins fills.” The song is still performed regularly today by several artists in the Americana genre. From artists to songwriters to instru- mentalists, the county’s history is rich with those who made their mark in mu- sical history and those that continue that tradition today.

("Forever and Ever Amen," "When You Say Nothing at All"). Award-winner and artist Kendell Marve l, who has penned hits for George Strait , Chris Stapleton and Jake Owen , is a one-time resident of Cheatham County. Kingston Springs was the setting in 1972 for songwriters Vince Mathews and Jim Casey and their album, "The Kingston Springs Suite," a record about the lives of a small town of a bygone America. Johnny Cash , who visited Mathews often in Kingston Springs, championed the Outlaw album. He per- formed one of its songs, "Melva’s Wine," on his national television show calling it the greatest contemporary American folk song he’d ever heard. The writers performed the entire album only a few times – once in the Kingston Springs school auditorium - with Johnny and June Carter Cash sitting in the front row – before it was shelved for 40 years until released in 2015.

Cheatham County’s musical heritage runs deep and wide and stretches from early Grand Ole Opry performers Dad Pickard and the Pickard Family and the Binkley Brothers Dixie Clodhoppers to emerging artists like multi-instrumental- ist and Grand Champion fiddler Ivy Phil- lips and American Idol finalist Tristan McIntosh . Along the way, many artists, songwrit- ers and music professionals have called Cheatham County home. Among them are country music’s "Gentle Giant" Don Williams , legendary singer-songwriter Mel Tillis , Louise Mandrell and current star Jake Owen . Drive through Ashland City and you’ll likely cross the Tennessee Waltz Park- way, aptly named for the country stan- dard of the same name. This state song of Tennessee was co-written by Redd Stewart , born in Ashland City in 1923. Today, our community boasts several top songwriters and hit makers, includ- ing Grammy winner Paul Overstreet

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