Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Seven Genres of Music Call Tennessee Home
More songs are written, recorded, and played live here than anywhere else in the world. Tennessee Music Pathways connect you to the people, places, and events that shaped music history.
From the big cities to the small communities, this statewide program identifies, explains, and preserves the legacy of music in Tennessee. Be it a story of the past, a star of the present, or the promise of the future, Tennessee Music Pathways help you follow the music.
The following listings are Tennessee Music Pathways locations within the South Central Tennessee region along with several other relevant music history locations.
Towns to plan your visit with:
Mark Collie Music Pathways Marker
Tennessee Music Pathways Linke: https://www.tnvacation.com/point-of-interest/mark-collie-pathway-marker
George Mark Collie was born in Waynesboro was was influenced by gospel, traditional country and rockabilly. He's a singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist who brought a rowdy, rockabilly edge to country music. His compositions have been recorded by Martina McBride, George Jones, Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw among others. He was inducted into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2015.
Once you visit Mark Collie's Tennessee Music Pathways marker, explore his hometown which is an outdoor lover's paradise. Stay at the Tennessee Fitness Spa, a hidden treasure that gives guests access to a full and varied exercise program, lectures, nutrition guidance and more. Rent a kayak or canoe and navigate the Buffalo River for a day on the water. Grab a delicious Emeralds Restaurant and a variety of sweets from Golden Goodies Bake Shop.
Wayne County Walk of Fame Tour
Wayne County, Tennessee has a long history of gifted and notable singer/songwriters and musicians. Its convenient location between the famous Nashville, Memphis, and Muscle Shoals music centers, has drawn talented artist to the area over the years and inspired a developing rich musical culture drawing from different genres.
As the line from the song Nashville Cats tells us - "Nashville Cats play country music when they're two" - and, as you take this tour, you will note that many Wayne County musicians began playing as preschoolers.
Enjoy the Wayne County Walk of Fame.
This tour is built from the bios from the book: "The Heritage Project: A Collection of Musical Talent in Wayne County, Tennessee by Anita Miller. You may purchase a copy of this book at the Wayne County Museum.
The Walk of Fame tour is narrated by Nashville Radio Personality, Josh Kuhn.
Minnie Pearl Tennessee Music Pathways Marker
Sarah Ophelia Colley-Cannon, better known as Cousin Minnie Pearl, was the undisputed Queen of country comedy, performing on the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years. The State of Tennessee honored Minnie with the installation of a “Tennessee Music Pathways” marker in her hometown of Centerville, Tennessee. During the reveal, the crowd enjoyed a live performance of some of Minnie’s best jokes, with a dedication from local leaders who helped celebrate her memory.
Minnie's niece, Mary Beth Pruett, was the featured speaker along with a host of dignitaries from State Senator Kerry Roberts, Mayor Gary Jacobs, and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development's Zach Ledbetter and Ashley DeRossett. Carlin Cochran performed as "Minnie" telling jokes and singing alongside her father Darin. The event was coordinated and organized and by Chamber Director Mandy King along with Chamber President Jane Ambrose-Herron.
She was born Sarah Ophelia Colley, the youngest of five daughters of a prosperous lumber magnate and his homemaker wife, who lost their fortune in the Great Depression. Aspiring to become an actress, twenty-two-year-old Ophelia (as she was then called) settled for a job as an itinerant community theater director for the Wayne P. Sewell Producing Company, traveling to rural southern cities and staging plays owned by the firm. While on the road in North Alabama, she met an older woman whose amusing country talk and mannerisms inspired Ophelia Colley to create a comic character that eventually became known as Minnie Pearl. Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/tennessee-music-pathways/all?selected-region=nashville
Minnie Pearl Downtown Statue
Grinders Switch Center
Located in Centerville, the showcases memorabilia, pictures and information about celebrities with ties to Hickman County such as Minnie Pearl, Del Reeves and Blake Shelton and Hickman County native song-writer Beth Slater Whitson.
Minnie Pearl Chicken Wire Statue @ Bluff Garden
In Centerville, the hometown of the Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl, is a larger-than-life memorial statue made entirely from chicken wire. Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/tennessee-music-pathways/all?selected-region=nashville
Storytellers Hideaway Farm
Located a short drive west of Nashville on I-40, this was the place Johnny Cash used to escape from public life. Now the Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum in Bon Aqua, TN is a must-stop for anyone interested in knowing more about the man behind the country music icon, as well as the region’s rich history.
Don't miss the opportunity to see the iconic One Piece At A Time car, from Johnny Cash's own song.
Each tour includes a live concert. Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/tennessee-music-pathways/all?selected-region=nashville
James D. Vaughn Music Pathways Marker
James D. Vaughan was a renowned gospel songwriter and publisher. He founded the Vaughan Music Company in Lawrenceburg, as well as WOAN, the first radio station licensed in Tennessee. WOAN broadcasted gospel music throughout the South until 1929.
After seeing Vaughan's Tennessee Music Pathways marker, spend some time in Lawrenceburg to deep dive into the town's history. Once home to famous pioneer David Crockett, Lawrenceburg honors his accomplishments at David Crockett Cherokee Museum and maintains a replica of his office. A bronze statue of the justice of the peace, militia colonel and state representative can be found on the public square. Also visit the Lawrenceburg Old Jail Museum to see artifacts and read stories about life in Lawrenceburg. Check out David Crockett State Park to hike six miles of trails, see limestone bluffs and waterfalls and stay inside a modern, LEED-certified cabin. See beautiful scenery on the Natchez Trace Parkway and shop in the town square.
The Crockett Theatre
Music Pathways Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/local/lawrenceburg-crockett-theater
Providing entertainment for more than 60 years with acts that have included Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Girls, this beautiful art-deco theater also hosts the annual James D. Vaughan Southern Gospel Festival.
James D. Vaughn Burial Site
Burial site of James D. Vaughan
James David Vaughan was an American music teacher, composer, song book publisher, the founder of the Vaughan Conservatory of Music and the James D. Vaughan Publishing Company.
Gospel Music Mural by Whitney Herrington
Music Pathways Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/point-of-interest/gospel-music-mural-whitney-herrington
The Instagram-worthy art located on the outside wall of Society American Nosherie features angel wings and nods to the city's rich history with gospel music.
Columbia native Whitney Herrington was selected out of six other artists to complete the mural. Herrington is an accomplished artist, teacher and business owner. Her murals have decorated several Tennessee businesses, including The Linen Duck, B’s Salty and Sweet, Bodega On Main, Little Juice Co, and Pink Porch.
Grady Martin Burial Site
Burial site of Grady Martin - Hooper Cemetery in Lewisburg, TN
Thomas Grady Martin was an American session guitarist in country music and rockabilly. A member of The Nashville A-Team, he played guitar on hits such as Marty Robbins' "El Paso", Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter" and Sammi Smith's "Help Me Make It Through the Night".
Ed Townsend Music Pathways Marker
Tennessee Music Pathways Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/point-of-interest/ed-townsend-tennessee-music-pathway-marker
Singer, songwriter, producer, attorney, educator and Fayetteville native Ed Townsend is famous for coproducing half of Marvin Gaye's 1973 album, Let's Get It On. Over the course of his career, Townsend wrote 250 published songs and had two Hot 100 hits as an artist. He wrote and produced for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records, including the Impressions' last Top 20 pop hit, "Finally Got Myself Together."
Once you visit Townsend's Tennessee Music Pathways marker, explore the town of Fayetteville where you'll find local boutiques. Have a tasting at Southern Pride Distillery and enjoy a filling meal at Chuck Wagon BBQ & Catering.
Lincoln County Arts Center
The Fayetteville Lincoln County Arts Center
We want you to know our story, but most importantly.....we want you to be a part of it.
The Fayetteville Lincoln County Arts Center has been undergoing a huge transformation over the past few years. We have rebranded our organization, including a fresh new logo to enhance our look to the community.
The Mission of the FLCAC is to enhance the quality of life in the Fayetteville-Lincoln County community through the presentation, education, and promotion of all art disciplines including visual, conceptual, and performing arts.
Annual events by the F-LC Arts Center include the Southern Weekend of Art (54 years), monthly art classes, open mic nights in the cooler seasons (we currently do not have a/c upstairs), free classes for adults and children throughout the year as well as private classes for senior citizens, residents of behavioral rehabilitation facilities and individuals of all ages with special needs.
We also provide annual music, art and dance scholarships to high school students.
Many community-based projects originated at the arts center including the large-scale, multi-panel mural just off the square depicting our historic downtown in black and white. This project involved many people but was spearheaded by Arts Center member Melanie Laten and painted at the Arts Center with help from other members and residents of the community.
We have also organized and showcased hundreds of local music talents by children and adults for the community at Southern Weekend of Art including clogging, singing, playing of instruments, bands, storytelling and more.
As you can see…our mission truly is to enhance the quality of life for our community through the arts and we are diligent about doing just that. We have a huge heart for our community.
Our number one priority is to get the outside of our facility to reflect what is going on inside. With that being said we have been researching the history of The Arts Center to create a narrative for the community to grab a hold of.
In doing so we discovered the building which began as a Presbyterian Church (property purchased in 1910) and built in 1913 was gifted to the Fayetteville Art League by CFW Construction Company in 1974. On September 30th, 1963 a group of people met in the library at Central High School (known now as the Lincoln Academy) for the purpose of organizing the Fayetteville and Lincoln County Art League. The Reverend Douglas Girardean called the meeting to order. The meeting started with a very interesting talk by a guest speaker Mr. Fred Womack. It was decided that they would meet the 2nd and 4th Monday Nights. Dues were established at $5.00 per year and $1.50 for students.
Prior to the Arts Center becoming a facility for the arts it was inhabited by retired Air Force Col. William Trigg and wife Ellen Trigg. Col. Trigg was a successful musician and played upright bass. He recorded music in the top of the church, especially lots of gospel songs for local mom and pop groups and offered free music classes to anyone that wanted to learn lessons downstairs.
Col. Trigg wanted to provide opportunities to any child hungry to learn music, he would provide musical instruments to whomever wanted one if they were willing to put in the work. He was a mentor to many local musicians and absolutely loved to help others get started in music. He had many connections to the Nashville Music Industry which enabled him not only to offer local musicians opportunities to gain employment but also provide students with wonderful state of the art music equipment.
His music store downstairs held guitars, bass drums, sound systems and on any Saturday morning you could find young musicians gathering to share their talents with one another.
Col. Trigg and his wife were loved and cherished by many. His daughter Patsy Trigg followed in her father’s musical footsteps with a career that began with their family band. Patsy is best known for being part of Elmo & Patsy, the duo that recorded "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,'' the iconic Christmas song. The song, recorded and released in 1979, became the No. 1 Christmas song in 1983, and remained there for five straight years. The song was mastered at The Fayetteville Lincoln County Arts Center by Col. Trigg.
We are so excited to discover the unique and rich connection to music history at The Fayetteville Lincoln County Arts Center! It is definitely a unique claim to fame that we will wear proudly!
We are also humbled and honored to have the gold record for Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer on permanent display at The Arts Center!
Becky Buller Photo Collage
Located at the Manchester - Coffee County Conference Center, this display pays tribute to Bluegrass Hall of Fame Member Becky Buller.
Mike Farris Tennessee Music Pathways Marker
During his solo career, Mike Farris has crossed between rock, blues, soul, and gospel to bring a current sensibility to traditional Southern music. He was honored at the 2008 Americana Music Awards as New/Emerging New Artist of the Year Award, and, in 2021, he won the Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. In 2015, he won a Grammy award for Best Roots Gospel Album for Shine For All The People, and in 2018 released the critically-acclaimed Silver And Stone, both on Compass Records.
Live Music on the Mountain - The Smoke House
The Bluegrass Underground - The Caverns