The Florida Gulf Coast. 2 days of travel have taken me through some of the most populated and spectacular parts of Florida. From the sugar white Siesta Beach through Sarasota, to Saint Petersburg, and the search for the weatherbeaten deserted beach takes me to the Florida Panhandle. Driving across US 19 all along the coastline, picking up US 98 at Perry, finally finding a beach town that’s pretty close, on through to Panama City, Destin and Pensacola. Although I keep mixing up Pensacola and Panama City, the Florida Gulf Coast was pretty nice on a windy, sunny day not unlike late September back in the upper midwest. I’ve traveled through the southern states many times in my life, and different times. As a kid it was road trips with the family to see the grandparents at Christmas. As an adult work brought me down to Florida, or the pleasure of picking up a brand new car and driving it where ever I wanted. Florida has changed. It seems to be a theme in these travel podcasts, how the southern United States has changed. There are more people than ever. More business than ever. And all kinds of businesses, from industry to banking, tourism, of course the mainstays like agriculture. Those days of finding the out of the way beach and the quiet beach down, still weather beaten from the last hurricane, are waning. Oh those towns are still there, but you might have to look on the Gulf, or on the west coast, or higher up the Atlantic coast, north and south of Jacksonville. Still, travel is so much fun. Getting off the Interstate and onto US19 and US98 were great decisions. Having objectives and deadlines has made this trip great. Ahead, the famous Red Neck Rivera, Louisiana, New Orleans, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa, and back to the Twin Cities. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Welcome to Tennessee. Live from Bristol, Tennessee – The Birthplace Of Country Music. New Hampshire’s primary is history. Flush with new data and fresh story lines, every satellite news truck and reporter is rolling out of the Granite State headed for South Carolina, the third primary in election 2016. The Bob Davis Podcasts are already in the south, taking a break from the political craziness. Welcome to Tennessee, and to one of the coolest towns in Eastern Tennessee and Western Virginia: Bristol. Part of Bristol is in the Volunteer State of Tennessee and the other part is in the Old Dominion. This is a great introduction to South Carolina, because this part of Tennessee and Virginia are in the Appalachian Mountains, first settled by the Scots-Irish, English and Germans over two hundred years ago. They brought their culture with them including stories and music dating back centuries. Industrial growth from the late 1800’s and beginning of the twentieth century brought change to the people who call this part of the country home. In 1927 a Bristol area musician and performer recommended the town to a recording engineer and talent scout. The scout brought the latest recording technology to town, set up shop in a hat factory, placed an ad in a local newspaper and prepared to record. Ralph Peer’s Bristol Sessions turned out to be seminal in the development of American Roots music and the careers of artists who later became major country music stars. The Bristol Sessions are often referred to as ‘The Big Bang of Country Music’. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol celebrates the Bristol Sessions and so much more. Take a break from the endless political nonsense going on, to get a sense of the influence this part of the country has had on the rest of the United States, and the gift the people of Appalachia have given us all. Today the south is a major economic, social and political influence, equal or greater to any other part of the country. Get set for surprises after South Carolina votes, and after the mid south primaries on Super Tuesday. (Big Thanks to Renee Rogers and Charlene Baker for meeting me at the Museum office back door on a snowy Monday, and for doing an interview for this podcast.) Sponsored by X Government Cars, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.