“Air Castle of the South brings a great deal of existing and new information about WSM into a single location. Havighurst employs a very readable style in presenting the history of this radio station, and there is no doubt that WSM has fostered the dissemination of country music. This book will have tremendous appeal to both general readers and scholars interested in country music.”--James E. Akenson, cochairman, International Country Music Conference, and coeditor of Country Music Goes to War
"This is a vital book in the canons of country music history, but it's also a delightful read because the corporate growth and technological advances are peppered with stories such as Ernest Tubb's arrest for firing a gun in the National Life lobby and Hank Williams's call from jail. Havighurst treats WSM as if it's a character as rich and important as those it made famous, and he recreates the intangible studio moments that evaporate into thin air after reaching listeners' homes."--Weekly Standard
Started by the National Life and Accident Insurance Company in 1925, WSM became one of the most influential and exceptional radio stations in the history of broadcasting and country music. WSM gave Nashville the moniker “Music City USA” as well as a rich tradition of music, news, and broad-based entertainment. With the rise of country music broadcasting and recording between the 1920s and ‘50s, WSM, Nashville, and country music became inseparable, stemming from WSM’s launch of the Grand Ole Opry, popular daily shows like Noontime Neighbors, and early morning artist-driven shows such as Hank Williams on Mother’s Best Flour.
Sparked by public outcry following a proposal to pull country music and the Opry from WSM-AM in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and existing sources to document the station’s profound effect on the character and self-image of Nashville. Introducing the reader to colorful artists and businessmen from the station’s history, including Owen Bradley, Minnie Pearl, Jim Denny, Edwin Craig, and Dinah Shore, the volume invites the reader to reflect on the status of Nashville, radio, and country music in American culture.
Great read! This is everything you ever wanted to know about WSM and more! I ought to know... I work there!Published 4 months ago by Hank
I worked at WSM in 1056-58. I worked on the Country Music DJ Festival, and it was the best time of my life. The book tells the story very much as I remember it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Frida300
Author Craig Havighurst did extensive research on the history of WSM radio and the city of Nashville. Read morePublished 14 months ago by HuntleyMC
If you have any interest in country music or history of the radio industry,
this is a must read. Cheers
What a wonderful depiction of WSM and its place in the pioneering history of radio. I have told all my friends and family that this is a must read.Published on July 18, 2013 by Terry Estes
A chance purchase...a big fan of WSM for many years. The book highlighted many of the memorable moments I actually remember. Read morePublished on May 11, 2013 by Amazon Customer
A very readable, entertaining, and informative book. For my purposes, it explains the how-to of early radio transmission in easily understandable terms, but also is an enjoyable... Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by J. Crafton
Extremely well written and informative. Seems well researched. I lived in Nashville for part of the time covered and was already familiar with many of the people and occurrences... Read morePublished on May 1, 2011 by Kentuckyblacky