John Prine. Photo by Danny Clinch/Courtesy Oh Boy Records

East Side Buzz, Sept. 10

With all the recent news about Tennessee’s recent record-breaking COVID numbers — and maybe because I met a guy at a bar this week who claimed to have built the world’s third-largest cowbell (it’s a long story) — I got to thinking, “What other records does Nashville hold?”

Well, according to Guinness World Records, they are: 

The world’s longest stand-up comedy show (80 hours, 5 minutes) was performed in Nashville in 2015. 

Robert Altman’s 1976 film Nashville holds the record for the most Golden Globe nominations (11). 

The most hand claps in a minute — 1,103! — was achieved by Eli Bishop in 2018, recorded at the Southern Ground Nashville studio on Music Row. 

The fastest blindfolded handcuff escape (2.42 seconds) was achieved in Nashville in 2014. 

The most balloons burst with the mouth in 30 seconds (40 balloons), was achieved in Nashville by Ashrita Furman in 2017. 

The Grand Ole Opry holds the record for being the longest-running radio program

The world’s largest singing lesson took place in Nashville in 2009, with 6,651 participants. 

The world’s largest frozen beverage was a 255.21-gallon green apple slushie, made by The Krystal Company for the Tennessee State Fair in 2017. 

The most half-court basketball shots made in one minute was 10 shots, made by Adam Beatrice at Lipscomb University in 2011. 

The record for the most marriage vow renewals by one couple (101) was broken in Nashville by a marriage at The UPS Store, in 2011, between Lauren Lubeck Blair and David E. Hough Blair. 

Siobhan Dunn became the youngest world line dance champion in Nashville in 1998, at the age of six years, 194 days. 

The most hunger relief meals packaged in one hour (530,064) was achieved in Nashville, in 2013. 

Dippin’ Dots achieved the record for the most cups of ice cream cups prepared by a team in three minutes (473), in Nashville, on July 4, 2014. 

You’re welcome. Now, back to the news.

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John Prine Celebration Postponed Due to COVID

“You Got Gold,” a week of performances and events celebrating legendary songwriter John Prine’s life, originally planned for October, has been postponed until October 2022, Prine’s family and record label have announced. 

“We were really excited about getting together next month to celebrate ‘You Got Gold.’ We initially started planning last year, and we wanted it to be so far out, we wouldn’t have to worry about health and safety,” Prine’s son Jody Whelan said this week via an Instagram video. “That is not going to be the case.” 

The shows have been moved to Oct. 7-12, 2022, at the same venues, with “some of the same artists” already confirmed, Whelan said. He said refunds will be available on the “You Got Gold” website or from the venues. 

In the same video, Prine’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, said “everybody you could possibly associate with John” was planning to come to Nashville next month, many of whom have pledged to return. 

Shows have been rescheduled for The Ryman, The CMA Theater at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and The Basement East, said Whelan Prine. “Everything has been rescheduled,” and more, she said. 

“Now that we have another year to work on this, who knows what we’ll come up with,” said Whelan Prine. 

Proceeds from “You Got Gold” were intended to benefit the Prine family’s newly created 501(c)(3) non-profit organization The Hello In There Foundation. Whelan said the organization will still be able to make a contribution to this year’s grant recipients, Room In the Inn and Thistle Farms, and even more next year “once the revenue from the shows comes in.” The organization will also make contributions this year to Hurricane Ida relief and Afghan refugee resettlement, Whelan said. 

“We’re excited to be able to do that, even though we’re disappointed we won’t be able to do all of what we wanted this year,” Whelan said. 

“John passed from COVID. How could we really, truly celebrate, and not have that anxiety, because the virus is still, unfortunately, so much with us,” said Whelan Prine. “Please get vaccinated. It can really help send this virus on the run.” 

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Kashena Sampson’s Time Machine

Kashena Sampson | Photograph by Jeff Fasano

In an online piece this week, East Nashville songstress Kashena Sampson told East Nashvillian contributing writer Olivia Ladd that her new album, Time Machine — out today — was unintentionally written about codependency, loneliness, and finding oneself again, after being in a relationship with an incarcerated person. 

Sampson also spoke of the album’s release being delayed due to the March 3, 2020 tornado. 

“When I came back and it was time to release it, I listened to it again and was like, ‘This is my experience with codependency and finding myself and knowing I’m okay just as I am, and nobody outside of me is going to be able to fix me.’ That’s the whole message of it all,” Sampson says.

With the ‘70s folk rock-inspired Time Machine — which includes co-writes with Erin Rae and Mary Bragg — Sampson “took a journey from constantly reaching outside of herself for fulfillment to the resolute kind of self-confidence that can only be gained from deep, thorough insight,” Ladd writes. 

Listen for yourself and find out, or check out Sampson’s Sept. 25 AMERICANAFEST performance at City Winery. 

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Parents Sue Over Gov. Bill Lee’s Mask Order

Tennessee parents in two counties have filed two suits challenging Gov. Bill Lee’s order allowing students to opt out of school district mask requirements. 

In Shelby County, The Tennesseean reported last week a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking Lee’s opt-out mask order until Sept. 17. Shelby County Schools includes Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, and Millington schools, as well as private schools and religious schools.

“This is a first step towards a long-term solution to protecting children in Tennessee who are vulnerable to COVID-19,” Bryce Ashby, a lawyer for the families that filed suit on behalf of children with disabilities, told The Tennessean in a text message. “We are pleased and along with our clients intend to see this through to the end.”

In Knox County, however, a federal judge denied a similar request in a suit brought by three parents who claimed their children are “unable to safely attend school without increased risks of serious injury or even death, unlike their non-disabled peers.”

According to Knoxville’s WATE, Judge Ronnie Greer’s ruling denied the parents’ request for a temporary restraining order, stating “plaintiffs have not demonstrated that they would suffer immediate and irreparable injury or loss, and their request for a temporary restraining order must be denied for this reason alone.”

Greer, did, however, set a Sept. 15 hearing date to hear the rest of the case, which asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction of Lee’s executive order, and an injunction to enforce a mask mandate in Knox County Schools to “enable these children to have fundamental access to the school building itself.”

Tennessee leads the nation in COVID-19 cases in children. 

The Tennessean reported Tuesday that five Tennessee school districts are currently closed, due to COVID-19. 

Additionally, at least eight Tennessee public school employees have died after contracting COVID-19, in the first month of school, The Tennessee Lookout reported Thursday. 

This Week in Guns

  • There was a shooting near Five Points Monday, with one critically wounded. 
  • Police were investigating a total of three shootings in Nashville, hours apart, Monday, according to NewsChannel5. 
  • A 46-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were found shot dead in a van on Highland Trace Drive Wednesday, Metro Nashville Police say. 
  • Metro Nashville Police say more than 756 guns — more than 60 percent of the year’s stolen guns — have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville this year, with 32 guns stolen from vehicles last week. 
  • A second-grader brought a loaded gun to school, Metro Nashville Police say. 
  • A juvenile was shot in the hand during a drive-by shooting. 
  • A new Nashville mural honors those lost to gun violence. 
  • A man driving a carjacked vehicle died after being shot, according to Metro Nashville Police. 

Quick Bits

Love Buzz

We’re just a week out from Nashville Pride — taking place Sept. 18-19 at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and this year’s entertainment lineup is stacked with impressive local and national talent. There’s hip-hop queens Salt N Pepa, dance-pop singer Kim Petras, alt-cowboy Orville Peck, and rapper Tommy Genesis, plus local “friendship punk” Tayls and Nashville-based country crooner Mercy Bell. 

Bell’s new album Golden Child, released August 6, came together in the middle of the pandemic like a modern-day Postal Service record. She collaborated with producer J.R. Bohannon on the seven tracks but COVID-19 forced them to do so from a distance, so Bohannon recorded the music with his band in Brooklyn while Bell stayed in Nashville and recorded her vocals at Bomb Shelter. The result is a batch of songs that feel both classic and contemporary, lush with pedal steel guitar, dobro, and cello (played by local Larissa Maestro). Lyrically, though, Bell keeps it simple, with clever winks peppered throughout. She ends the happy-in-love “One Life Stand” with playful whistling, and in “The Hustle,” a mid-tempo, semi-somber track about materialism, Bell cracks, “They say money, it don’t buy happiness / but it can get you a lot of shit.” 

Have a listen to Golden Child’s title track — you can find the whole album on Bandcamp here.

Mercy Bell will be performing on the Equality Stage on Saturday, Sept. 18. Find the full Nashville Pride entertainment line-up here, and buy tickets here. Nashville Pride is requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours for entry.

“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling