Tennessee State of the State 2018

As is annual tradition, I attended and photographed the governor’s State of the State speech at the state capitol for WPLN.org – aka photos for the radio. Here are a few shots from the night and a link to the story:

Governor Bill Haslam addressing state lawmakers during his final State of the State address before his term ends:

First lady Crissy Haslam:


A controversial statue inside the State Capitol:

King of the Wild Frontier:


Bill Monroe Estate Sale / For NPR

Bill Monroe, the man who invented bluegrass music, finally had an estate sale almost 20 years after his death. I joined WPLN/NPR reporter Blake Farmer and photographed the morning of the event. Read/listen on NPR or read/listen on WPLN, with a few photo gallery extras.

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-1

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-3

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-4

Canceled checks signed by Bill Monroe… electric bills, the IRS, Master Card and the like.

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-5

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-2

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-6

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-7

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-9

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-10

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-8

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-11

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-12

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-13a

Carly Turner of New Orleans and her purchase – a picture that once hung in Bill Monroe’s den:

Bill Monroe Estate Sale By Stephen Jerkins-13b

Continue reading

Goodbye, Greer Stadium

With the end of the Nashville Sounds’ season last month at Greer Stadium, we said goodbye to yet another link to ‘old’ Nashville. I went to a game a few weeks ago on behalf of WPLN, to capture scenes from one of the final games in the (third oldest in all of AAA-dom) ballpark. The new, currently-under-construction stadium opens next season and is going to quite shnazzy.

Read about and see my/WPLN’s more extensive gallery here.




Continue reading

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2014

Earlier this summer I was on assignment for WPLN at this year’s Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN. The event is an ‘old time music and dance festival’ that celebrates both the musical legacy of Uncle Dave Macon and all-around southern old-timey goodness. See WPLN’s post here, along with a few additional photos.

Below is a selection of favorites:


Continue reading

Lincoln County, TN

I once again joined WPLN’s Blake Farmer on assignment, this time in Lincoln County, Tennessee, where we attempted to discover why it’s the home of the lowest unemployment rate in all of the state. The story and a few photos were featured today on Marketplace.org.

You can also check out a more extensive photo gallery with Blake’s original piece posted on WPLN last week.

Lincoln County Tennessee copyright Stephen Jerkins-1

Lincoln County Tennessee copyright Stephen Jerkins-2

Lincoln County Tennessee copyright Stephen Jerkins-3

Lincoln County Tennessee copyright Stephen Jerkins-4

Lincoln County Tennessee copyright Stephen Jerkins-5

Lincoln County Tennessee copyright Stephen Jerkins-6

(Johnny) Cash Cabin Studio

On what would have been Johnny Cash’s 82nd birthday, I joined WPLN/NPR’s Blake Farmer at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN to interview Johnny and June’s son John Carter Cash, discussing the forthcoming Out Among the Stars, due out March 25th. The album is a collection of recently unearthed material recorded by his parents in the early 1980’s.

Read/listen to Blake’s piece on WPLN.org and on NPR.org and see my gallery of photos here.

Cash Cabin Studio – originally known as Cedar Hill Refuge – was a rural Tennessee log cabin where Johnny and June Carter Cash would retreat between tours. Recording gear was installed in the 90’s during the sessions for “American Recordings“, the first of several Rick Rubin-produced Johnny Cash musical endeavors.

by christopher little
Johnny Cash, 1994 – by Christopher Little

John Carter Cash, 2014 – by Stephen Jerkins

President Obama in Nashville

I was among the privileged few to be in the room yesterday at President Obama’s speech at McGavock High School, photographing the event for WPLN (stories here and here). I should note that I was background-checked, patted-down, bomb-sniffed and surely cell-phone-monitored for days… which is all to say that I am officially safe enough to be within 40 feet of the leader of the free world. Please keep this in mind if you are looking for a photographer to hire.

Here are a few quick favorites from the day (with a more extensive gallery here):













Another treat from the day was watching the presidential photographer Pete Souza in action. Amazing photographer with an obviously amazing gig. I’ll be following the White House Flickr feed for a while, hoping I successfully photobombed the photo below.