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.


Tickets On Sale Friday For Marty Stuart Concert

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives: The Way Out West Tour will be at Walker Theatre on Saturday, March 24.  Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $189 VIP 1, $99 VIP 2, $40, and $30 plus applicable fees and are available at all Ticketmaster Outlets, and Tivoli Theatre Box Office, or by phone at  800-745-3000. Tickets for this event ... (click for more)

SoMo: The Reservations Tour Featuring Caye Is Here March 22

SoMo: The Reservations Tour featuring Caye comes to the Signal on Thursday, March 22. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show is at 8:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show, plus applicable fees and are available at the venue box office and at www.ticketfly.com , or by phone at  877-4FLY-TIX. Tickets for this event go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. ... (click for more)

1 Killed, Another Injured In Shooting On The Southside Early Sunday Morning; Delivery Driver Carjacked On Southside Earlier

One person was killed and a second person injured in a shooting on the Southside early Sunday morning. The victims are Sharone Porter, 22, who was killed, and Torrie Porter, 24, who had non-life threatening injuries.  At 2:47 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 1400 Cowart St.  on a person shot. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police found two victims suffering ... (click for more)

Bradley County Deputy Shoots And Kills Stabbing Suspect At Charleston

A Bradley County deputy shot and killed a man who was a suspect in a stabbing early Sunday morning. The Sheriff's Office said, "At approximately 11:54 p.m. on Saturday, a call was received at the Cleveland/Bradley County 911 Center to report a stabbing at a residence on Leyland Drive in Charleston. "The caller indicated a male had been stabbed and another male had fled from ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the late 1970s and every year about this time I am asked repeatedly about it. It is far and away the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries, it’s included in teaching manuals and people I haven’t seen in years get in touch when they read it ... (click for more)