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“Gig City” Chattanooga, Tennessee--Where Live Music Thrives

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Chattanooga. Come along and join the conversation with passionate music lover, Mary Howard Ade. She moved here from New York City to work as the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau’s full-time Music Marketing Manager

Live music has been an integral ingredient in the cultural fabric of Chattanooga since the founding of the riverfront town in 1839. Bessie Smith, born in Chattanooga in 1892, was fondly nicknamed "Empress of the Blues" and became America’s #1 blues performer throughout the 1920s and 30s.

It was on the eve of WWII that the Glenn Miller tune, Chattanooga ChooChoo rocketed to the top of the charts and became America’s first hit to receive a gold record for a million sales.

Today, music so permeates the Chattanooga scene that there are more than 60 venues from pubs and dinner houses to theaters featuring live musical performances, and another 50 or so live concerts and festivals happening throughout the year.

The music scene is so dynamic here, that it’s a definite factor explaining the surge of millennials relocating here from around the country.

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