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.

Auditions Are April 26,27 For Midsummer Night’s Dream

Auditions for the Shakespeare Chattanooga’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, at the Ripple Theater in Brainerd. This show will officially reopen the Ripple space, dark for nearly four years, and kick off the partnership between Shakespeare Chattanooga and Ripple Productions. Performances will be June 20-22 and 27-29 and ... (click for more)

Lee Has Masterworks Concert April 25

The Lee University Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra will present a concert of masterworks on Friday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Conn Center.    The program will feature Haydn's “Missa in Angustiis,” Beethoven's “Choral Fantasy,” as well as a selection of choruses from Handel's “Messiah.” This performance will be conducted by Dr. Cameron F. LaBarr, assistant ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Nudge By Angel Kilbride

Way above us, high in the heavens, a handsome angel everybody calls Ben yelled to Saint Peter on Thursday and told him, “Better send me a couple of rubies and maybe an amethyst … Dad’s crown just got bigger.” To you such a scenario may sound silly and foolish but Bill Kilbride, a dynamic genius who has just been named as president-elect of Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce, knows ... (click for more)