Jonathan Garcia Nashville Tennessean Published 4:10 PM EDT Sep 13, 2019 Today, people travel from all over the world to visit the famed honky-tonks on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Country twang and crooning vocals from their multiple stages flood the streets at any time of day. While the origin of the establishments — and the musical genre they led to — is up for debate, there’s no question the influence they had on country music and both urban and rural life in the early 20th century. Here are three things to know about honky-tonks. They likely originated from rural juke joints Juke joints, or barrelhouses, were rural establishments primarily operated by African Americans. They featured the forms of entertainment most honky-tonks are known for: music, dancing, drinking and often gambling. They emerged after emancipation in the southeastern United States, and provided plantation workers and sharecropppers a place to go, especially since most could not enter white establishments in the Jim Crow south, according to Katrina Hazzard-Gordon in her book “Jookin’: The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture.” Hazzard-Gordon also wrote the honky-tonk was “the first urban manifestation of the jook.” No one knows where the term comes from Whether… Read full this story
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