Nashville

The city many people think of when they think of country music. Nashville is to country music what Hollywood is to the movie industry. Everything good and bad that’s ever happened to those seeking fame and fortune in Los Angeles has also happened here.

WSM, The Grand Ole Opry, Acuff-Rose – for decades, these and other entities established Nashville as the capitol of the country music industry. Keyword: industry. You could make it as a country artist from outside the industry but on the inside, they made the rules.

The following episodes of Cocaine & Rhinestones have much more to tell you about Nashville.

Shelby Singleton

CR007 Harper Valley PTA, Part 1: Shelby S. Singleton

1200 630 Cocaine & Rhinestones

Two words to sum up the career of Shelby Singleton?

Publicity stunt.

You think all it takes to make a hit record is to find a good song and get a good performance of it?

That’s cute. Have a seat and let an old-school record man show you how it’s done. This is Shelby Singleton.

When it took driving a trunk full of records around the country to make them into hits, that’s what he did. Then he became a producer. Then he became a VP at Mercury Records. Then he founded an independent musical empire in Nashville and really got to work making new enemies.

This episode is recommended for fans of: marketing, publicity, controversy, rockabilly, Supermensch (the documentary on Shep Gordon), George Jones, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, David Allan Coe, Margie Singleton, Jeannie C. Riley and Roger Miller.

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Louvin Brothers in cabin

CR006 The Louvin Brothers: Running Wild

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The Louvin Brothers are widely regarded as the most influential harmony duo to ever cut a country song. The way Charlie and Ira could sing together is downright otherworldly. There’s even a special term we had to invent for family (it’s always/only family) who can sing this way: blood harmony. That being said, it’s possible we’ve never heard what they could really do.

By the way, do you believe in evil?

This episode delves in to exactly what blood harmony is and how the magic of it can’t save you from beating the living hell out of each other at every opportunity. Here is the story of two dirt-poor brothers who fought for fifteen years to achieve their lifelong dream and what happened after that. (Hint: it involves whiskey and bullets.)

This episode is recommended for fans of: singing, physics, the Radiolab podcast, mandolins and Roy Acuff.

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Ernest Tubb Texas Defense Social

CR001 Ernest Tubb: The Texas Defense

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Everyone loves Ernest Tubb.

So when he straps on a gun belt one night to head across town and snuff out a character named Jim Denny, well, you might guess that ol’ Jim had it coming. Maybe he didn’t, maybe he did…

For you to make up your own mind, we’ll need to go behind-the-scenes of 650 AM WSM in Nashville, The Grand Ole Opry and the world of country music publishing companies.

This episode is highly recommended for fans of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Paycheck, Justin Tubb, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Roy Acuff and Matlock. Yes, Matlock.

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