Whisky Magazine Issue 121
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Jack Daniel's and Tennessee I see a lot of music in thee
Nashville and Memphis are important cradles of American music, most notably blues, country and rock ‘n' roll. Tennessee is also home to Graceland, final resting place of Elvis Presley. The legendary performer was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, but moved to Memphis at the age of 19 to record with the famous Sun Label and lived there until his untimely death in 1977.
BB King started his career in Memphis when he followed his uncle Bukka White, leaving the Mississippi Delta. Nashville, with its Grand Ole Opry and eponymous live radio show, presented many legendary country singers such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks. Many musicians enjoy a good dram of whiskey and Tennessee was the place to get it, with one of the most famous distilleries in the world on their doorstep: Jack Daniel's.
But, who was the man who gave his name to the best selling single brand in the world? According to legend the story begins in 1860 with the birth of Jasper Newton Daniel. At age six he ran away from home – a one room country shack - because he could not get along with his evil stepmother, which actually makes a good start for a fairy tale.
At first he was given shelter by an uncle but soon started to work on the farm of Dan Call, a wealthy farmer and part-time lay preacher in Lynchburg. In his spare time Call distilled whiskey in a nearby barn. For a while he combined things well, until his congregation forced him to choose between the one and the other spirit....