Music has always been an important part of my life. Being a teenager in the 60’s meant that we were fully involved with the Beatles and the music explosion that took place. Besides rock and roll we were exposed to a lot of traditional country music. Often during the day my mom would listen to WEXL – 1340 AM on the radio dial. They advertised themselves as “The Sound of Country Music in Detroit”. We listened to the likes of Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, Chet Atkins and a host of others. Since much of our extended family lives in the south we were exposed to a lot of people who appreciated good country and gospel music.
There were also influences with folk music from the likes of The Weavers (Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger), Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary and Simon and Garfunkel. While I still like a good rock and roll song I also have come to enjoy the traditional country music and groups that cover old songs from our nation’s history. It is sad to say that our time in Michigan and in Indiana only allowed us to listen to that kind of music if we specifically knew about a NPR program and then remembered to tune in. Modern country music is nothing more than rock music from the 60’s and 70’s with a fiddle thrown in. Not my favorite thing to listen to.
Now we find ourselves in Tennessee and are pleasantly surprised at the great variety of traditional American music available. On FM we’ve been listening to WDVX – 89.9 FM which plays music from newer artists that are singing and covering great songs from the 1800’s, depression songs, war ballads and stories of life from all sides of the track. It reminds me that America is rich in its musical roots that tie back to folk music from many countries. Every day they have a noon-time special of live music called “The Blue Plate Special“. It takes place downtown Knoxville at Market Square and we plan on going to catch one of their free concerts while we are here.
We also found WKVL 850-AM which plays traditional country music from the 1940’s to date. The AM station allows us to listen as we travel around in the mountains because it does not fade. It’s just another thing to be thankful for today.