Joan Hanks, Chattanooga Poet And Rapper, Honored

Monday, December 31, 2012
Joan Hanks, a 'Rap Artist', has been officially inducted into the Center of Pop Music at Middle Tennessee State University, under the category of State Songs.
Joan Hanks, a 'Rap Artist', has been officially inducted into the Center of Pop Music at Middle Tennessee State University, under the category of State Songs.

Joan Hill Hanks, a 'Rap Artist', has been officially inducted into the Center of Pop Music at Middle Tennessee State University, under the category of State Songs.  Her "Tennessee Bicentennial Rap" is well known to her friends and associates in organizations she belongs to: Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames XVII Century, Prudhomme Fort Chapter. 

The “Tennessee Bicentennial Rap” was written by poet, Joan Hill Hanks of Signal Mountain. Mrs. Hanks had been writing poems since the 1970s and made it a practice to read her work “with a beat.” She stated later that she was “writing rap and didn’t know it.”  

In 1995 she wrote the poem that became the “Bicentennial Rap” as a fun and interesting way to teach students and citizens about the history of Tennessee. In January of 1996, State Senator David Fowler and State Rep. Bill McAfee proposed that the poem should become Tennessee’s official “Bicentennial Rap,” and the work was so adopted later that year.

During Tennessee’s Bicentennial year, Mrs. Hanks performed her poem for school assemblies, on television, and before live audiences. If the occasion warranted, she would change the line about “smooth whiskey” and replace it with “Rafting waters, swimming pools. Olympic medals. Cool, cool, cool.”

To view a video and hear the "Bicentennial Rap", visit http://popmusic.mtsu.edu/Homeland/index.html   

It has been noted that the 'MTSU Collection of Music' is the largest collection in the world.

Heritage House In Heritage Park Announces 2 ‘Seasonal Film Screenings’ For The Month Of October

Heritage House Arts and Civic Center in East Brainerd will be showing two films officials say are guaranteed to get you into the proper ‘spirit’ this fall season. The first film to be shown is VIY (aka:  Spirit of Evil, 1967) presented in conjunction with Chattanooga's Russian Film Club. Considered the first horror film of the modern Soviet era, VIY tells the story of ... (click for more)

Chien And Shifrin To Open String Theory’s Eighth Season

String Theory founder and Artistic Director Gloria Chien, pianist, and guest artist David Shifrin, clarinetist, will be the first performers of the 2016-17 season on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Hunter Museum of Art.   String Theory at the Hunter brings celebrated chamber musicians from around the world to perform in the intimate setting ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 2.0 Embarrassment

Let’s pretend you are coming to a new and exciting world. You are on the jolly good ship “Mayflower” when some Miles Standish-type of a guy (he was the Pilgrim’s first cop) calls you into is presence and says, “Within two hours we are expected to stand on Plymouth Rock. Please come up with ten primary goals we should have in our public schools.” I believe you could do it within ... (click for more)