Friday Five: The Great Smoky Mountains
Happy birthday to the Great Smoky Mountains. Back on this date in 1934, these mountains became a national park. John D. Rockefeller contributed several million dollars of his own money to ensure the land was protected and preserved. Nowadays, ten million visitors go through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, making it the most-visited national park in the United States. When Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the park, he said, “There are trees here that stood before our forefathers ever came to this continent; there are brooks that still run as clear as on the day the first pioneer cupped his hand and drank from them. In this park, we shall conserve these trees, the pine, the red-bud, the dogwood, the azalea, the rhododendron, the trout and the thrush for the happiness of the American people.”
Along the way, the Smoky Mountains also inspired songs from many different artists. What are your favorites to add to this list?
5. Dolly Parton – “Smoky Mountain Memories”
With Dollywood in Pigeon Forge and her hometown in Sevierville, Dolly Parton is considered royalty in and around the SmokyMountains. Many of her songs along the years have covered the region. This gem was from a live album called Heartsongs released in 1994.
Relatively few songs have attained the chart popularity that this song achieved. It hit number one on both the country music and adult contemporary charts back in 1980.
3. Jack Turner – “Story of the Smoky Mountains”
This is a story-song from 1955 that provides the background of how the mountains got populated.
2. Dolly Parton – “Sha Kon O Hey”
This is the title track from the theatrical production Parton wrote for the show that runs exclusively at Dollywood. It means “land of the blue smoke” in Cherokee.
It only seems natural that a guy nicknamed Tennessee Ernie would sing a song about the mountain range in his namesake state. Go ahead and try to listen to this one and not tap your toe. I dare you.
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.