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 \u201cMusic City USA\u201d 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 \u201850s, WSM, Nashville, and country music became inseparable, stemming from WSM\u2019s launch of the Grand Ole Opry, popular daily shows like Noontime Neighbors, and early morning artist-driven shows such as Hank Williams on Mother\u2019s 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\u2019s profound effect on the character and self-image of Nashville. Introducing the reader to colorful artists and businessmen from the station\u2019s 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.
Craig Havighurst is a Nashville-based writer, editor, and producer whose company String Theory Media specializes in music documentaries. His short "WSM Snapshot" for Nashville Public Television won a regional Emmy Award in 2001. A former staff music writer for The Tennessean in Nashville, he is also an independent journalist whose music correspondence has appeared on NPR and in Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, Country Music Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly.