Tennessee Music Pathways and other Music History sites in South Central Tennessee
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
Music Pathways Link: https://www.tnvacation.com/local/centerville-hickman-county-chamber-commerce-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.