My Homeland Tennessee: A Research Guide to Songs About Tennessee

Perhaps more than any other state, Tennessee is associated with music. The state, its cities, natural features, and historical events have been the subject of thousands of popular songs written and performed in almost every style. The idea of Tennessee is so popular that it has inspired great songwriting and performances not only by native Tennesseans but by people from all over the world.

My Homeland Tennessee: A Research Guide to Songs About Tennessee preserves and presents historic documents and recordings that illuminate Tennessee as represented in blues, ragtime, rock 'n' roll, rap, folk, country, jazz, rhythm and blues, and other styles. This website also includes a special section on the several official state songs of Tennessee.

The materials gathered for My Homeland Tennessee come mainly from two important collections among the holdings of the Center for Popular Music: The John S. Mitchell Collection of Tennessee Music (which contains 1,413 sound recordings, 589 pieces of sheet music, 24 books, 1 film, and 22 posters) and The Peter S. LaPaglia Collection (with its 76 select pieces of sheet music on Tennessee themes). Items were also harvested from other parts of the Center's collections and from archives across the nation.

We hope that the My Homeland Tennessee research guide will be of interest and use to students, teachers, scholars, and interested citizens of all ages and levels. Teachers are encouraged to visit the Educational Resources page for helpful ideas on how to use the research guide to enrich the classroom experience. Sample lesson plans in the areas of history, social studies, math, and language arts that adhere to Tennessee's curriculum standards will be available for teachers to download. The site also includes a searchable database of the songs and other materials to assist users in finding information within the My Homeland Tennessee collection.

Tennessee State Songs and Anthems          Sentimental Tennessee               Natural Tennessee           

Tennesse Places                Tennessee History              Educational Resorces



My Homeland Tennessee: A Research Guide to Songs About Tennessee was funded by the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) "State and National Archival Partnership" (SNAP) grants to state agencies. Administered by the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board, the Center for Popular Music's My Homeland Tennessee project improves "the preservation of and access to Tennessee's historical records" by making available to the people of Tennessee and elsewhere hundreds of songs about the state of Tennessee.

The SNAP grant has enabled the Center for Popular Music to draw from its extensive original collections of sheet music and sound recordings to develop a web-based research guide to music about Tennessee. A database was created containing hundreds of song titles in various formats. The website provides content, information, and resources to help researchers, students, and teachers learn more about the songs and the state of Tennessee.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: None
Copy Restrictions: Limited duplication allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.
Perferred Citation: From the collections of the Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University.

Top of Page

Copyright Statement

The Center for Popular Music and Middle Tennessee State University are pleased to make the materials contained in My Homeland Tennessee: A Research Guide to Songs about Tennessee available for educational purposes. Most of the material contained in the database and related website pages are in the public domain. However, some materials may still be copyrighted, although available for online access as provided under the "fair use" criteria of Section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. These materials may be used for educational and noncommercial purposes, such as research, teaching, and private study. Please include the preferred citation listed above on all copies. Copyrighted materials cannot be further republished or used for commercial purposes without the expressed permission of the original copyright owner.

The Center for Popular Music claims only physical ownership of the materials found in My Homeland Tennessee: A Research Guide to Songs about Tennessee and is not aware of any U.S. Copyright or any other restrictions associated with the materials in this collection. Anyone intending to broadcast or publish this material is responsible for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights.

All content of the My Homeland Tennessee: A Research Guide to Songs about Tennessee, excluding those mentioned above, but including all text, graphics, design, and coding, are copyrighted by the Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University.

Top of Page

Project Staff

  • Dale Cockrell — Project Director
  • John Fabke — Principal Investigator
  • Lucinda P. Cockrell — Project Manager
  • Martin Fisher — Curator of Recorded Media/Audio technician
  • Yvonne Elliott — Administrative
  • Lindsay Million — Librarian
  • Dicky Dixon — Reference Assistant
  • Josh Howard — Exhibits
  • Elaura Highfield — Digitization
  • Grover Baker — Web Designer


National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) State and National Archival Partnership (SNAP) and the Tennessee State Library and Archives for making the project possible.

Many thanks to Jami Awalt, Samantha Cantrell, Roby Cogswell, Tennessee State Arts Commission; Doug Seroff; John Mitchell; Hewett Spain; Fred Congdon; Joan Hill Hanks; Sarah Eticut Singleton; Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archive at University of California-Santa Cruz; Bobby Osborne; Noah Uman; David Seubert, University of California at Santa Barbara.

Cultural Sensitivity

These historical resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be viewed in the context of their relevant time periods reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for Popular Music.

Top of Page

Contact Us

For questions or if you are a copyright holder and wish to contact us for removal of materials, please email the Center for Popular Music at Phone: 615-898-2449. Address: The Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University, MTSU Box 41, 1301 E. Main St., Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

Spring Fed
CPM Store Button

CPM logo  

Contact Us

Schedule Class Visit

Give to CPM

MTSU Box 41
1301 E. Main Street
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Room 140
Bragg Media & Entertainment Bldg.
facebookinstagram X - Twitter ThreadsspotifyYouTube Logo

CME Logo