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Welcome to the official podcast of The Nashville Retrospect, the monthly newspaper devoted to stories from Nashville's past. Editor and host Allen Forkum interviews local historians and people who experienced the city’s history firsthand. He also investigates audio artifacts from area archives and relates fascinating articles from old Nashville newspapers.

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Apr 30, 2018

The fight for women’s right to vote came down to a final political battle that took place in Nashville. Host Allen Forkum (editor of The Nashville Retrospect newspaper) interviews Dr. Carole Bucy, the Davidson County Historian and professor of Tennessee history at Vol State Community College, about that dramatic struggle in the summer of 1920 over the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which recognized women’s right to vote. (Segment begins at 04:40)

Josephine Pearson at Hermitage Hotel

Pictured at Nashville’s Hermitage Hotel in August 1920 are (left to right):Mrs. James S. Pinckard, president-general of the Southern Women’s League for the Rejection of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment; a Confederate veteran who (according to a hand-written caption on the photo) “‘fought and bled’ for Tennessee’s states rights”; and Josephine A. Pearson, president of the Tennessee Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. (Image: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Josephine A. Pearson Papers)

This editorial cartoon, titled “Lest We Forget,” appeared in the Los Angeles Examiner on Aug. 21, 1920. It is one of many from the newspaper clippings collection of Carrie Chapman Catt, then president of the National Woman Suffrage Association. The Southern-gentlemen stereotype was used in many cartoons of the time to represent Tennessee. (Image: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Carrie Chapman Catt Papers)

Also in Episode 02, Tom Henderson talks about his personal recording of the April 1975 15WLAC radio show in which deejays Wolfman Jack and Spiderman Harrison ushered a programming change from rythm and blues and soul to full-time rock ‘n’ roll. Hear audio excerpts from the pivotal show, including appearances by Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey and deejay Hoss Allen. (Segment begins at 26:50.)

Nationally-syndicated deejay Wolfman Jack (right) and WLAC deejay Spiderman Harrison co-hosted the occasion, at which hundreds of people gathered at the Nashville radio station’s studio. (Image: Bill Massey)

Audio of the pivotal 15WLAC radio show was captured on reel-to-reel tape by Tom Henderson. Pictured are the tape and his index cards with notes.

And finally, Allen Forkum reviews some of the stories in the May 2018 issue of The Nashville Retrospect, including: Minnie Pearl's opinion of “new” country music (1986); Michael Jordan's baseball games at Greer Stadium (1994); photos of prom preparations at local high schools (1966); a shift in black votes away from the Republican party (1907); and a "fearful tornado" (1868). (Segment begins at 01:30.)



A list of stories relating to this episode contained in back issues of The Nashville Retrospect (back issue can be ordered by clicking here):

• “Suffrage Amendment Adopted By House,” Nashville Tennessean, Aug. 19, 1920 (The Nashville Retrospect, August 2010)

• “Battle Began For Suffrage Many Years Ago,” Nashville Tennessean, Aug. 19, 1920 (The Nashville Retrospect, August 2010)

• See the May 2018 issue of The Nashville Retrospect for other stories referenced in this episode, including the 15WLAC story.


Other related articles:

"Wolfman Straightens Square," Nashville Banner, April 29, 1978

"'Hoss' Plays It Like They Want To Hear It," Nashville Tennessean, "Young World" supplement, Oct. 27, 1968


Links relating to this episode:

“Woman Suffrage Movement” article in the Tennessee Encyclopedia

"Women's Suffrage" at the Tennessee State Library and Archives

Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial Collaborative

Books by or containing articles by Dr. Carole Bucy

Tennessee Suffrage Monument

Ryman Auditorium timeline

Hermitage Hotel

Books by Tom Henderson

WLAC history webpage

1510 WLAC Talk Radio

Hippie Radio 94.5


Music : “Near You” by Francis Craig and His Orchestra (Bullet, 1947); “Quiet Outro” by ROZKOL (2018); “Covered Wagon Days” by Ted Weems and His Orchestra; and “The Buffalo Rag” by Vess L. Ossman