Knoxville’s Radio Past Revealed in 70 year old film footage

We’re excited to share this rare silent 16mm home movie footage shot by local Knoxville radio stars Molly O’Day and her husband Lynn Davis. O’Day was one of the biggest stars on local radio during the 1940s, eventually landing a recording deal with the Columbia Records label.

Molly O’Day and the Gang on WNOX Radio, Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, circa 1946 from TAMIS on Vimeo.

The footage was shot during a live WNOX Mid-Day-Merry-Go-Round performance at Chilhowee Park. Keep an eye out for country music legends Archie Campbell (as”Grandpappy”), Carl Story and His Rambling Mountaineers, Charlie Monroe, Curly Seckler, Clyde and Hack Johnson, Bill and Cliff Carlisle, and master of ceremonies Lowell Blanchard!

A Classic Molly O’Day gingham dress will be on-display at the upcoming exhibit on Knoxville music history entitled “Come To Make Records: Knoxville’s Contributions to American Popular Music,” opening Friday, April 15th, at the East Tennessee History Center. This event is part of the Knoxville Stomp, a four-day festival that celebrates the lost music of Knoxville and our region.

[From the Molly O’Day and Lynn Davis Collection at TAMIS – Knox County Public Library]

Note: Original footage partially reversed.