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.


UTC Theatre Co. Presents Silent Sky Nov. 14-18

UTC Theatre Co. will present Lauren Gunderson’s play Silent Sky in the Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre in the UTC Fine Arts Center. The play runs Nov. 14-18 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. Tickets may be purchased at the UTC Fine Arts Center box office in person or by phone at 425-4269, or by visiting www.utc.edu/theatre-speech/productions ... (click for more)

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$125 Million County School Building Plan Includes Shifting CSLA To Tyner Middle; Combining Tyner High/Middle; New Harrison Elementary, New East Hamilton Middle

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Signal Mountain Committee Says Pulling Away From County Schools Is "Feasible"

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The Deer Decline At Enterprise South Nature Park

There are now 11 fewer deer to see at Enterprise Nature Park. The hunters snuck another one in secretly so as not to cause controversy.   I go to that park three or four times a week, and haven't seen any deer for months, and I used to see them all the time. They had to put out "salt licks" to attract deer from surrounding areas outside the park. Then they killed them ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)