Deck the Halls to Jams From These Arkansonian Artists
The state of Arkansas isn’t just fertile ground for crops — it’s fertile ground for musicians, too. Some of the biggest names in American music history hail from the Natural State, and you better believe they know how to lay down a holiday track. So whether you’re hosting a COVID-conscious open house or driving a few hours to meet a client at the rural property of their dreams, why not add a little bit of Arkansas musical greatness to your Christmas playlist?
O Little Town of Bethlehem - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
It’s difficult to put into a few words how influential Sister Rosetta Tharpe was (and still is) on American music. Her fans range from Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton to Miranda Lambert and Bob Dylan, who used words like “divine”, “sublime”, and a “powerful force of nature” to describe her. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, she’s often regarded as the mother of the genre and as a momentous force of gospel whose performances will make anyone believe in a higher power.
Originally from Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Tharpe and her mother moved to Chicago when she was around ten years old, but we’ll still claim her as one of Arkansas’s greatest natives. Today, real estate is sparse in Cotton Plant, but you can own a slice of it for just $819.
Winter Wonderland - Al Green
Al Green (or “The Reverend Al Green”, as he’s commonly known) is another Arkansas-born Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer with 21 Grammys. He’s also a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, receiving the award for his contributions to American culture. However, his accolades don’t stop there. He may be one of the defining artists of the soul genre, but Green’s appeal stretches far and wide, which is probably why he’s regarded as the “14th Greatest Singer of All Time” by Rolling Stone.
Green was born in Forrest City, Arkansas where he lived until he was 10 years old. Currently, real estate is very affordable in Forrest City; check out this 3 bed, 2 bath single-family home available for just ~$62k.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas - Glen Campbell
It wouldn’t be the holidays without Glen Campbell. But did you know that the big-time singer, songwriter, guitar player, and cultural icon is from a small farming community called Billstown near Delight, Arkansas? There, a young Campbell grew up dirt poor, working anywhere he could just to get by. In fact, it was his humble beginnings that reinforced his friendship with Elvis Presley.
“Elvis and I were brought up the same humble way – picking cotton and looking at the south end of a north-bound mule,” Campbell once told The Chicago Tribune. Campbell went on to become one of America’s most treasured personalities with more awards than we can list. Should you wish to move near Campbell’s old stomping grounds, there’s a 4 bed, 3 bath available in Delight for $165,000.
Silent Night - Johnny Cash
You may be cool, but you’ll never be as cool as Johnny Cash. Beloved and respected around the world, the Man in Black’s influence spans cultures, genres, and generations. In fact, other than Elvis Presley, Cash is the only person to be memorialized in both The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Dylan spoke warmly of him, saying, “Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him - the greatest of the greats then and now.”
Of course, he’s received countless awards and praise from other legendary artists, some of whom he helped get off the ground, but the larger-than-life Johnny Cash never forgot his humble roots. Cash was born in Kingsland and grew up in Dyess, Arkansas, where his boyhood home still stands to this day. Needless to say, Johnny Cash is the Last Great American, but if you’re looking to settle down in the environment which made him, you can check out this 5 bed, 2 bath house in nearby Lepanto for just $80k.
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