Starday Records was the largest independent country music record label throughout the 1950s and ’60s, serving as a springboard for future stars (George Jones, Dottie West, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, and more) and as a home to many of Tennessee’s traditional country music performers. Moving to Tennessee and situating themselves as a Nashville-based anti-Nashville record label in 1957, the Starday label recorded some of country music’s most important sounds: honky-tonk, bluegrass, old-time, rockabilly, gospel, and sacred music.

Dr. Nathan D. Gibson is the audio-visual preservation archivist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a lecturer in the Mead Witter School of Music. He is author of The Starday Story: The House That Country Music Built (University Press of Mississippi) and recently produced a tribute to the living legends of Starday Records, Nate Gibson and the Stars of Starday (Bear Family Records).

Tennessee 101 is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



January 10, 2023


5:30 pm CT

6:30 pm ET