Friday, August 6, 2010

St. Louis, Part Three: Stars in the City

"You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain"

"Celluloid Heroes" -The Kinks-

You've heard of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, right? Have you heard of the Saint Louis "Walk of Fame?" I hadn't, either. But it was very impressive. It is a series of bronze stars arranged one after the other in a part of Saint Louis called the Loop. Each star is engraved with the name of a person associated with Saint Louis who went on to become famous. Each star is accompanied by a bronze square in the sidewalk that summarizes the accomplishment of the person named on the star. Click the link to see a list of the people honored there.

It was amazing how many significant people are connected to Saint Louis - in all sorts of endeavors. Some had only a passing connection with the city, but a startling number were born there. Just the A - D list includes Maya Angelou, Josephine Baker, Fontella Bass, Yogi Berra, Chuck Berry, Lou Brock, William Burroughs, Harry Caray, Kate Chopin, Jimmy Connors, Bob Costas, Miles Davis, Dizzy Dean, Dan Dierdorf and Phyllis Diller. Those are just the ones I recognized.

So what is the Knoxville implication? Couldn't we do the same? If not stars, then some other marker - probably up and down Gay Street. I'm not sure we could keep up with Saint Louis, but we could do pretty well. A friend of mine and I tried to think of names and came up with quite a few. Here are a some (in no particular order) who would seem star-worthy for more than just an east Tennessee impact and have some sort of significant Knoxville connection.

James Agee, Dolly Parton, Cas Walker, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Cormac McCarthy, James White, William Blount, Peyton Manning, Chad Pennington, Chris Whittle, Don Gibson, The Louvin Brothers, Hank Williams, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Patricia Neal, Brownie McGhee, James Brown, Admiral Farragut, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, The Everly Brothers, Adolph Ochs, George R. Dempster, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Kenny Chesney, Clifford Curry, Reggie White, David Keith, Alex Haley, Clarence Brown, Dave Thomas, Mary Costa, Kid Curry, Joseph and Beauford Delaney, Nikki Giovanni, Pat Summitt, Quentin Tarantino and Tina Wesson. There is an official list and it includes many others that I don't know and some that I can't figure what connection to Knoxville they are implying.

Who else would you suggest?

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At August 7, 2010 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Cathy Tyner said...

Did I miss Brad Renfro?
Love your blog BTW!

At August 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale Dickey (Patty the Daytime Hooker)

At August 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Thanks, Cathy. I'm glad you like it. I didn't list Brad. Was he big enough, long enough to get the star treament? I think he is on the official Knoxville list. To Mr. (or Ms.) Anonymous - You are right, she should be included, but boy we would need more details than the name and role. It sounds much worse than it is.

At August 7, 2010 at 3:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have said John Cullum. He's on the official list. That Caledonia Johnson sounds like an interesting story.

At August 7, 2010 at 10:52 PM , Blogger Allison said...

Don't forget Johnny Knoxville! James Agee is my personal favorite.

At August 7, 2010 at 11:50 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Aw, man, do we REALLY have to do Johnny Knoxville? Oh, alright - they're just virtual stars at this point, anyway. :-)


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