As the oldest hotel in the City of Gatlinburg and family owned since 1937, The Historic Gatlinburg Inn stands as the birthplace of the song “Rocky Top” and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of that distinction during a public event on Tuesday.
Beginning at 4:30 p.m., the Inn will host musical performances, speakers and concessions for the public to enjoy to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the bluegrass-tinged anthem, famous worldwide as the calling card of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.
In August 1967, Hall of Fame songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant – a husband-and-wife country music and pop songwriting team – checked into Room 388 of the Inn, now available to Inn guests as “The Rocky Top Suite.”
Taking a break from the album they were working on, they wrote the song “Rocky Top” in about 15 minutes.
The song was originally recorded by the Osborne Brothers and released in December 1967.
In 1972, it was played for the first time at a University of Tennessee football game by the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and was an instant sensation. The song has been identified with UT sports teams ever since. “Rocky Top” was adopted as a state song of Tennessee in 1982.
The anniversary celebration will take place at The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, located at 755 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and will begin with a ceremony with State of Tennessee Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Gatlinburg Inn officials and the sons of the late Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, Del and Dane Bryant, on the "Rocky Top" stage.
The ceremony will be followed by performances from Confederate Railroad, international bluegrass award winners Kenny and Amanda Smith, and Sevier County-based performers Jimbo Whaley and Greenbriar. YeeHaw Brewing and Calhoun’s will sell concessions in the Inn’s parking lot while the Inn and PepsiCo give away free Pepsi products near the “Rocky Top” stage. Admission to the event is free.
More information can be found by calling 865-436-5133 and on The Historic Gatlinburg Inn’s Facebook page.
Managed by Sevier County-based Hospitality Solutions, Inc., The Historic Gatlinburg Inn offers a rich and intriguing past, boasting a long list of interesting visitors over the decades, from frequent guest Liberace to Lady Bird Johnson. The Inn is within walking distance to all Downtown Gatlinburg attractions and offers an historic charm unique to Sevier County, as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.