Roots Radio News

WMOT staff, Rhiannon Gilbert

2nd annual Muletown Musicfest this weekend in Columbia

Sep 27, 2016

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (HAVIGHURST)  --  With high profile music events such as AmericanaFest and the Pilgrimage Festival dominating the Fall calendar, a plucky startup festival down the road from Music City is eager to get on the radar of roots music lovers.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A spokeswoman for the Grand Ole Opry says Country Music Hall of Fame artist Jean Shepard has died. She was 82.

Spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt says in a news release that Shepard had entered hospice care last week and died Sunday in Nashville.

Shepard joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955 and helped set the standard for women in country music. She presented a strong female point of view in songs like "Twice the Lovin' in Half the Time" and "The Root of All Evil (Is a Man)."

Jim Lauderdale wins WagonMaser award at 2016 Americana awards show

Sep 22, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer songwriter Jason Isbell won album of the year and song of the year at the 2016 Americana Honors and Awards show, extending his legacy as the star of Americana music.

Since launching his solo career after years with the Drive-By Truckers, Isbell has been racking up both critical acclaim as well as Americana and Grammy awards with his Southern rock albums. He won Wednesday night for his album "Something More Than Free," and his song, "24 Frames."

Americana Music Honors and Awards Show Replay

Sep 21, 2016

In case you missed it last night, check out the Americana Honors and Awards Show from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (HAVIGHURST)  --  The Americana Music convention is into its second day and industry issues are expected to take center stage.

Panels scheduled for Wednesday include a discussion about radio, the legacy of songwriter Woody Guthrie, and the controversial economics of digital streaming.

Streaming is something you’ve likely heard recording artists complain about. Specifically about how little they get paid when their songs get played. But the moderator of a panel on today’s agenda believes the conventional wisdom is wrong.

AMERICANAFEST 2016: A Roots Radio Tipsheet

Sep 19, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (HAVIGHURST)  --  The Americana Music Association Festival and Conference was a steady-state affair for industry insiders during its first decade, but in recent years the convention has grown and changed like the Nashville skyline. The 17th edition of the event launches at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel on Tuesday morning and spreads its musical tendrils across more than a dozen venues until Sunday night. The Association reports that in 2006, Americana showcased just over 50 bands for an audience of about 400 registered attendees.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Councilman Brett Withers says he’ll be sponsoring a resolution to have October 12 officially designated Captain Tom Ryman Day in Nashville.

The date marks the 175th anniversary of Ryman’s birth.

The wealthy riverboat captain provided the funds used to build the Union Gospel Tabernacle. The tabernacle is, of course, now known as the Ryman Auditorium - the Mother Church of Country Music.

According to a press statement, a full slate of Ryman commemorative events are planned for October 12 beginning at 2 p.m. at Fort Negley in Nashville.

Back to her roots: A profile of Roots Radio program director Jessie Scott

Sep 12, 2016


WMOT staff, Rhiannon Gilbert

Roots Radio Personalities

Sep 6, 2016


Weekday Roots Radio Schedule

Sep 6, 2016

Starting Monday, Sept. 5 WMOT Roots Radio will broadcasting live Americana music shows each weekday with special programming evenings and weekends.

Here's a snapshot of the weekday schedule:


Midnight to 2 a.m. Roots Radio Live Cuts

2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Undercurrents from Native Voice One

6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Mornings with John Walker (Americana music and news)

9 a.m. to Noon Keith Bilbrey

Noon to 4 p.m. Whit "Witness" Hubner

4 p.m. to 7 p.m Jessie Scott

7 p.m. to 8 p.m. MTSU Coaches Show

Signaling A New Era In Nashville Radio

Sep 3, 2016

Roots Radio staff writer, Craig Havighurst

With an “opera” to “Opry” genre hand-off that recalled the birth of Nashville’s most famous radio show in 1927, WMOT/Roots Radio went on the air Friday morning at a warm and celebratory gathering at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Music City Roots co-founder John Walker had the idea to segue from Aaron Copland’s famous orchestral “Hoedown” into a live take on the old fiddle tune that inspired it, “Bonaparte’s Retreat.” And by golly it worked.

WMOT's switch from classical to Americana jam

Sep 2, 2016

The most amazing thing happens at the 1:53 minute mark, WMOT went from a classical station to Americana in the blink of an eye.

Watch the WMOT Roots Radio event

Sep 2, 2016

WMOT staff, Rhiannon Gilbert

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- For nearly half a century, WMOT-FM has served Middle Tennessee State University and the region with music and news. Now, with the launch of its Americana format, the award-winning station aims to reach listeners with innovative programming that showcases the various roots of this increasingly popular music..