About the Author
Elizabeth Elkins is a professional songwriter and writer. A military brat, she holds degrees from the University of Georgia and Emory University. She has written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Creative Loafing, Art & Antiques and many others. She is president of Historic Nashville Inc. and the author of the upcoming Your Cheatin' Heart: Timothy Demonbreun and the Politics of Love and Power in Nascent Nashville (Vanderbilt University Press).
Vanessa Olivarez is a professional songwriter and vocalist. A Texas native, she was a Top 12 finalist on the second season of American Idol and received a Dora Award nomination for her work in the Toronto, Canada production of Hairspray.
Together, Elkins and Olivarez are Granville Automatic, an alt-country band that has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today and the Bitter Southerner. Their songs have been used in numerous television programs and films, and they have written songs recorded by more than seventy-five other artists, including Billy Currington, Wanda Jackson and Sugarland. They were the songwriters in residence at the Seaside Institute's Escape to Create program (Florida), where they wrote a Civil War concept album, An Army without Music. Their 2018 album Radio Hymns focuses on the lost history of Nashville, and the 2020 follow-up, Tiny Televisions, was inspired by Music Row stories in this book. You may have seen their videos on CMT. The pair live in Nashville, Tennessee, and regularly tour across the United States.
While not a musician himself, Brian Allison was born and raised on stories of country music. His father, Joe, was a producer, songwriter, radio personality and pioneer, and without his stories, this book would not have been possible. A professional historian, museum consultant and writer, Brian is the author of two other books for The History Press, Murder & Mayhem in Nashville and Notorious Nashville. He lives in Nashville.
Table of Contents
Foreword Kix Brooks 7
Authors' Note 9
1 Your Cheatin' Heart: Timothy Demonbreun and the Street that Got His Name, by Elkins 11
2 Ladies Antebellum: Stories from the Plantations, by Allison 21
3 The House that Fell Down, by Olivarez 29
4 The Closer to Church, the Nearer to God: Old-Time Religion, by Elkins 37
5 It All Begins with a Sound, by Allison 49
6 More Than Just Country, by Elkins 58
7 Worth a Thousand Words, by Allison 67
8 Bubbles in the Fountain, by Allison 76
9 The Outlaws: High Times on the Row, by Olivarez 85
10 Music City Nocturne, by Allison 98
11 Pop-a-Top: Tales from Dives and Honky-Tonks, by Olivarez 107
12 Time Marches On: Changing Lanes in the '90s, by Elkins 115
13 You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone: Lost Buildings of the Row, by Elkins 135
14 The Stories Behind Great Songs, by Allison, Elkins and Olivarez 146
15 Three Chords and the Truth: Secrets of Success, by Olivarez 159
About the Authors 187