Exploring the Culture of Tennessee: A Comprehensive Guide

Tennessee is renowned for its music scene, high-quality whiskey, delicious dishes such as barbecue & hot chicken & home to The Grand Ole Opry. Learn more about its culture & heritage.

Tennessee is a state that embodies the friendly and relaxed mentality of the South. In cities like Nashville, country music and Southern cuisine are popular, while in Memphis, blues and rock reign supreme. Tennessee is renowned for its music scene, high-quality whiskey, and home to the Great Smokies. Country music icons such as Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton hail from Tennessee, and the state has been home to many other popular musicians over the years.

The southern state is also famous for its delicious dishes, such as barbecue and hot chicken. When it comes to stereotypes of people living in rural Tennessee, two terms are commonly used: “redneck” and “peasant farmer”. The former is often used to describe a typically white, uneducated individual who is isolated from urban Tennessee. This stereotype paints an image of someone who is unemployed, unintelligent, has few social skills and who mainly occupies the rural mountainous area of Tennessee.

On the other hand, “peasant farmer” is a kinder term that represents someone who is kind, simple and who lives in conditions of poverty. In 1930, four writers from Tennessee - John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren - joined eight other writers to contribute essays to I'll Take My Stand. This book was a defense of traditional agrarian culture against the changes in values associated with industrialization. This shows that while cities like Nashville and Memphis are attractions based on music from the past, there are many new faces that are rising to stardom and that call the state of Tennessee home.

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in the Carolinas region which would later become the state of Tennessee. The Lost Sea is the largest underground lake in the United States and is located in Sweetwater, Tennessee. In East Tennessee, the Appalachian Museum (196), near Norris exhibits the life and material culture of Appalachian peoples; the American Museum of Science and Energy (194), in Oak Ridge chronicles the development and applications of atomic energy; and the Rock City gardens and the Tennessee Aquarium both in Chattanooga are popular attractions. The Tennessee State Museum (193) in Nashville exhibits contemporary and former art as well as historic artifacts that document the state's cultural richness and vitality.

Blues music originated in African-American cultures in the southern states in the early 20th century and was widely popularized in the city of Memphis. Images used in the media from rural Tennessee show acres of farmland and small towns with little connection to urban areas. Jackson was later elected general of the Tennessee Volunteer Militia and later became a general of the United States Army when his militia was called into service during the War of 1812. Tennessee is nicknamed “The Volunteer State” because of the large number of people who volunteered to fight in this war, as well as in Mexican-American War and Civil War. During this time stereotypes stopped being intelligent and backward in rural Tennessee and took on a more humorous tone.

Located in Nashville, The Grand Ole Opry is a world-renowned establishment that is considered to be at the heart of country music in Tennessee. The brand has been largely associated with pop culture of rock & roll in Europe which has created a problem with brand marketing as it is increasingly difficult to balance its authentic heritage in Tennessee with its modern follow of rock & roll.

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