There’s a music trail in the small Appalachian town appropriately named after the natural landmarks that tower over it. Mountain City is located far within the northeast corner of Tennessee in Johnson County, an area whose history with music run as deep as the hills.
Visitors have the opportunity to see the hidden stories of mountain music told through the eyes and hands of local artists within the Musical Heritage Mural Mile. The newly opened trail tours seven murals and several historic landmarks showcasing the local culture and area’s storied musical heritage.
Highlights of the seven murals include:
The 1925 Fiddlers Convention, a watershed in the development of early country music.
A tribute to Train 45, among G.B Grayson’s biggest hits, depicting country music’s ongoing rhythm associated with steam train engines and coalfields.
The sunrise is first seen for the day in Mountain City before the rest of Tennessee, peaking over the blanket fog and hills. The First Sunrise Mural is a tribute to Johnson County area natives Fiddlin’ Fred Price and Clint Howard. The pair composed the Ballad of Finley Preston, which tells the story of the last legal hanging in Tennessee that took place on the downtown courthouse lawn (which is in sight of the mural).
Bluegrass and a pony depicts Tom Ashley’s influence on early country music with his signature clawhammer tuning “Sawmill Key” or “Lassy Makin’ key,” as his unique sound influenced a whole generation of folk musicians.
A criminal’s escape in the mountains to a winding creek that eventually led to his demise and the legend of 1929’s The Ballad of Tom Dooley by blind fiddler G.B Grayson.
Mountain music legacies murals depict visual representations of albums recorded by Johnson County icons with histories as colorful as their treasured music.
Visitors can pick up their map of the Music Heritage Mural Mile map at the Johnson County Center for the Arts at 127 College St. Mountain City, TN 37683 or click here.
While You’re There:
Johnson County Center for the Arts featuring authentic Appalachian artwork, as well as meaningful events and enrichment experiences. With a primary focus on young artists, the local art community, and Appalachian culture, their objective is to provide a place for artists to flourish by offering a venue to showcase, sell, and encourage growth and learning.
Doe Mountain Recreation Area’s over 50 miles of blazed trails include ATV trails offering all difficulty ratings, peaceful and scenic hiking trails for all experience levels and challenging mountain biking trails for two-wheel peddling enthusiasts.
For additional visitor information contact the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce at 423-727-5800.