David Carroll, author of “Hello Chattanooga! Famous People Who Have Visited the Tennessee Valley” will be holding two book signings Saturday at local Food City stores. He will sell and sign books at Food City in St. Elmo (3801 Tennessee Ave.) on Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon. He will also visit Food City in Fort Oglethorpe (531 Battlefield Pkwy.) from 1-2 p.m. Five dollars from each book sale will be donated to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
“Hello Chattanooga” is a 700-page book featuring some two hundred photos, more than a hundred years of history, and a full index allowing the reader to instantly track down the date that Tammy Wynette played Lake Winnie, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Chickamauga Dam, or Winston Churchill slammed the door of his Read House hotel room in the face of a newspaper reporter.
“It started out as a history of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium,” he said, “and then it became much bigger. I realized the Tivoli Theater should also be included. As I told people about the project, they said I should include the Riverbend Festival, and then the UTC Arena, and so on. The deeper I got into it, I decided it should be a complete history that includes all of our famous visitors, with some stories and pictures mixed in. So I included all our area stages and venues, indoors and outdoors, plus every notable politician, president, movie star, athlete, author, military figure, and evangelist, plus a listing of the movies and music videos that have been filmed here.”
The book lists visitors from each category in chronological order, beginning in 1900, continuing to the present day. Mr. Carroll said, “Our tri-state area has attracted some of the best-known celebrities and entertainers in the world, thanks to our historic venues, beautiful scenery, and powerful people. This book will finally give readers the opportunity to settle a few arguments as they learn the dates and places that your favorite star (or president) visited here.”
“Hello Chattanooga” also lists local residents who have achieved national and worldwide fame in all fields, including political figures like Bill Brock and Estes Kefauver, athletes such as Rick Honeycutt and Reggie White, and entertainers from Samuel L. Jackson to Usher to Kane Brown.
Amid the show listings and photographs are stories tracking the history of each local venue, especially Memorial Auditorium and the Tivoli, each nearing the 100-year mark. There are also stories detailing famous people who appeared on local stages before they were famous, from Frank Sinatra, to Billy Graham, to Jimi Hendrix, to John Goodman.
The book also points out that many of today’s superstars played area venues as opening acts, who were hired to fill some time as audiences found their seats while waiting for a headline act to perform. Among them are Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Jeff Foxworthy, Kenny Chesney, and Taylor Swift.
There are also stories about big names who had a personal connection to the area, either through early jobs (Jim Nabors), a quickly-arranged wedding (Dolly Parton), or even run-ins with the law (Johnny Cash).
Mr. Carroll said, “I am honored to share this interesting and valuable information that can now be added to our region’s incredible story.”
“Hello Chattanooga: Famous People Who Have Visited the Tennessee Valley” is available in softcover and hardback, with signed copies at ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. The book is also for sale at Food City stores in Cleveland, Soddy-Daisy, Signal Mountain Road, Hixson, and St. Elmo, Zarzour’s Restaurant in Chattanooga, and Wally’s in East Ridge.