Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dolly dish

On Wednesday, Dolly Parton disclosed big news about Dollywood, her Pigeon Forge, Tenn., entertainment complex: a $300 million investment that will yield a 300-room resort hotel, among other upgrades. Here's my Mountain Press report on the announcement, and here is my interview with Parton about the development.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to school

In Sevier County, school started on Friday. Here's my Mountain Press report from Seymour Primary and Mrs. Clark's first grade class.
"Does anyone know what a clock is?" asked Mrs. Clark.
A little girl raised her hand. "Yes?" said Mrs. Clark.
"It's like a round circle," the little girl said, "and it has clock stuff on it."

Friday, August 02, 2013

Music business people

Here's my Mountain Press interview with Sevier County native Lisa McCarter, of the Americana group Runaway Home. In the 1980s she and her sisters performed as the McCarters and notched top-10 country hits like "The Gift" and "True and Timeless Love."
The sisters moved to Nashville in 1987. "We were scared to death," Lisa said. "We had never been around music business people. We would travel home to Sevierville every weekend."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Father's daughter's son

Here's my Mountain Press article about Chas Hartman and his book "Daughter of a Park Ranger," a biography of his mom. Her father spent a career in the National Park Service, including a stint as superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Good word

"An alien race that looks like a cross between Jabba the Hutt and Harold Bloom."

-- Roger Ebert

Good word

"Got up went to Twickenham rehearsed until lunchtime — left the Beatles — went home, and in the evening did King of Fuh at Trident studio, had chips later."

-- George Harrison

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer scenes

The middling summery comedy "The Way, Way Back" opens this week in Knoxville. My review in the alt-weekly Metro Pulse is here.
For better or worse, "The Way, Way Back" owes a lot to "Meatballs," including a nerdy character who gets picked on by the cool people because he’s just such a nerd. On behalf of nerds everywhere, I protest.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Song man

Here's my latest Mountain Press column, inspired by the buskers of Knoxville's Market Square. Did you know I've done some busking?
On a pleasant day, playing music outside is fun. It’s nice to see people smile when they hear a song they like. At places like State Street and Market Square, people tend to be in a festival mood, so impromptu singing and dancing may break out.