5 Fun Facts about Chattanooga, TN (and Some Vintage Viral Marketing) - Christine Kane

1 – Chattanooga, TN was home to blues singer Bessie Smith and actor Samuel L. Jackson.

The first time I performed in Chattanooga, it was at the Bessie Smith Music Hall. I got paid $300. It was the first time I got paid in advance for any show. They even provided a hotel room. (First time for that too.) I got into my room – a master suite – and looked around and thought, “I’ve MADE IT!” (Favorite Bessie Smith song: “I Want Every Bit of It.”)

2 – The Walnut Street Bridge, which spans a half-mile across the Tennessee River, is the world’s longest pedestrian bridge. It was built in 1890, and is a must-do if you ever visit Chattanooga.

3 – Christine Kane (that’d be me) is performing in Chattanooga on Thursday night at 8pm! (You knew this blog had to be going somewhere, no?) Let your friends know, or come on down yourself — May 29th. Rhythm & Brews. 8pm. (Samuel L. Jackson is Tweeting everyone that he’s SO gonna be there.)

4 – Christine Kane (yea, still me) will be appearing on WUTC at 3pm on Thursday, May 29th. She’ll be interviewed by old-school uber-DJ-extraordinaire, Richard Winham. You can tune in from your computer.

5 – The Chattanooga Bakery is home of The MoonPie.

And finally – some vintage Viral Marketing:


Just outside of Chattanooga is Rock City, a tourist attraction that opened on May 21, 1932. Soon after it opened, Garnet Carter (the owner) hired a young sign painter named Clark Byers, to travel the nation’s highways and offer to paint farmers’ barns in exchange for letting him paint three simple words on the barn roof: “See Rock City.” The distinctive black-and-white signs appeared as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas.

And now, 74 years later – after Clark Byers probably died of paint toxicity or sun poisoning – I sit in my chair, typing on my laptop, blogging to the rooftops: “See Christine Kane.”

These are the good old days.

  • Pam

    I was very fortunate to be in the audience last night in Chattanooga with you. Thank you for a wonderful evening as you were fabulous beyond words. You are like a breathe of sunshine and rain all mixed together in a rainbow of gorgeous colors of shades that are beyond this earth but not of the universe. Thank you for the blessings of light that you bring to all thst is.
    Loving blesssings,

  • seventh sister

    I remember the SEE ROCK CITY signs from traveling all over the country when I was a kid. I forget about them untilI see one somewhere. Great fun.

  • Anne Libby

    That Rock City photo took me back — it was very effective viral marketing, too. As kids on yearly car trips between the midwest and Kinsgport (TN) in the 70s, we mercilessly flogged my parents to stop at both Rock City and Ruby Falls. I remember at least one stop…and our drug of choice was Mountain Dew!

    Have a great trip to Chattanooga, and please come to NYC soon!

  • Mindful Mimi

    Still trying to find someone to pay for you to come play in Europe 😉
    Have agreat show on Thursday and say hi to Samuel 😉

  • Caralu

    So glad you’re coming back to town – I try to catch you when you’re here, and will certainly try to be at Thursday’s show….hope you do Southern Girl and Right Out of Nowhere. Enjoy your interview with Richard – he’s SO awesome, and so is WUTC….no other station in town plays your stuff. Have a safe trip here and enjoy your stay. I know of a little visited local hiking trail, easy and pretty, if you’re ever interested.

  • tammy burns


    You’ve got a big crowd coming to see you Thursday night! I can’t find your email, so I’m communicating via blog. How classy is that? I’m still planning on you staying here. Holler at me.


  • Christine Kane

    hi all! thanks for the notes. i love the rock city barns myself. and i am such a huge fan of chattanooga, too. mokana – probably not for a year or so! sorry! i do have someone who does my booking – but mostly these days i’m loving NOT being on tour as much. thanks for the recommendations!


    So when are you coming to the west coast cuz I would surely buy a ticket to enjoy your music! But in the mean time . . . guess I will have to buy a CD . . . 🙂 . . . there are these Indian Casinos all over the place here (I just came over from Hawaii where there are two things that are not . . casinos and billboards) and they have concerts all the time . . . be nice if you could link up with an agent that could book you . . . I am sure you would be a draw.


  • Molly

    I had a professor in college who said, if you make an A in my class, I will paint “See Rock City” on your daddy’s barn. Only the local kids “got it”.

  • Carolyn

    Don’t forget the pepsi cola paired with the little
    packages of Lance peanuts. You let them float awhile then slurp them on down.

  • mk

    hi ck!! barb, my drivers ed teacher carried a case of both rc cola and moon pies in the truck of the drivers ed car – no lie.

  • Carrie_in_TN

    Have fun in beautiful Chattanooga and come to Nashville soon. Just as beautiful and wonderful and fun as our sister to the South.

  • barb b

    moon pies and RC cola, can’t get much more southern than that. enjoy. barb

  • Elaine

    I love the story of viral marketing – the ‘paint toxicity or sun poisoning’ cracked me up! Blogging to rooftops must be far less dangerous! Have a great show in Chattanooga!