How did you get started in the industry?
Basically, I was that child listener that the disc jockeys at radio stations would get sick of. I used to call Keith Bilbrey and Hairl Hensley at WSM-AM, trying to gain insight on how they did their jobs – and how I could get there one day – that, and free records! I started my radio career when I was junior in high school in Dickson, TN.
Who were the biggest inspirations for your career?
Radio-wise, Keith Bilbrey – and industry-wise, Joe Galante at RCA. I remember writing him a letter when I was a freshman in high school. He responded, and I still have that letter. As a writer, Earl Hamner, Jr., Lewis Grizzard, and Robert K. Oermann, as well as Holly Gleason. I would love to be able to do with words what she does.
What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?
I have been very blessed to do what I do – on the scale that I do it – for six years now. I want to be able to continue that and to develop as a writer – and less rejections! Maybe write a book at some point. I always thought I would be scared to do that, but that might be changing.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve worked on in the last year?
My editor, Joe Lynch, has given me the freedom to write about a wide variety of topics that I am passionate about. That can range from Lady Antebellum and Brantley Gilbert to a recent piece on Jon Walmsley’s new album – he played Jason Walton on The Waltons. But, my two biggest stories this year has been on Bobby Osborne’s new album – and on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Until January, I had never been there before. The place – and those who work there – is amazing.
If you could only listen to three songs for the rest of your life, what would they be?
The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
I May Hate Myself In The Morning, Lee Ann Womack
Miss You Much – or any single from Rhythm Nation 1814, Janet Jackson
What’s your favorite dish/recipe?
I love a lot of things, but nothing beats a great plate of spaghetti – or Hamburger Helper!
Do you like eating out? Which are your favourite restaurants?
I do. The Old Spaghetti Factory, Jack’s BBQ, and Loveless Cafe would be three…..Also, the lettuce-wrapped burgers at the Pinewood Store in Hickman County are delicious! And, you can’t beat Monell’s!
Is there something that you don’t like to eat?
I can’t eat a tomato plain – or mushrooms. There may be a logistical reason to have mushrooms in or on something, but I don’t know what that would be!
Which three things are always in your home refrigerator?
Cheeses. Due to my struggles with my blood sugar, I try to limit the carbs…..cheese is a great way to do that for me.
What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
Along those lines, if there is a slice of Key Lime Pie hanging around, I know I don’t need it, but it won’t be there for long.
If you designed your own food tour, of Nashville which restaurants/bars would be on your list of places to visit?
I think you have to start at some of the more historic places in town, like Sperry’s or Loveless Cafe. But, the Gulch is also full of many places, like Fin and Pearl that are worth checking out. I also would have to suggest the Pie Wagon. It’s not hip or chic……and that’s the point! Old Nashville!
Do you have recommendations for southern dishes Nashville visitors should try?
Nashville Hot Chicken has the reputation it does for a reason. Also, there are some great Shrimp and Grits entrees in Nashville.
What’s the best thing to eat that’s deep fried?
Not healthy at all, but Cock of the Walk’s Fried Pickles. Yum. Yum.
What is the one place you have always dreamed of dining?
If I ever get to travel abroad, I would have to say that I would love to eat authentic German. I think Nashville has a great place-the Gerst Haus, but I can only imagine what it’s like there..
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
As a football fan, the person I would most likely want to speak to would be Jimmy Johnson, former Miami and Dallas coach…….He’s from the beach, so I would say seafood! As far as someone from the past, Elvis….and a peanut butter and banana sandwich……just to say I did!