Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:07 am
Credit Van Gallik / Courtesy of Ole Smoky
Moonshine is trendy these days, with distillers large and small throughout the country offering up their own variety. But in eastern Tennessee, locals will tell you they've got the real "white lightning." Everyone seems to boast a family connection, and everyone has his or her own recipe.
"It's a local point of pride, a big part of eastern Tennessee family tradition," says Robert Cremins, a college student from Knoxville. Many in the region identify themselves with moonshine, Cremins tells The Salt. "I grew up hearing stories about moonshine."
To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.
Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.
Amy Grant released her first album in 1977, when she was a teenager. Apart from a few secular mainstream hits in the 1990s, most of her work is unabashedly spiritual, and her name has become synonymous with contemporary Christian pop music. It doesn't bother the singer; for her, music has always represented a sacred place.
"I used to be a wimp in school. ... Since I started playing football in 9th and 10th grade, all I did was get a haircut, start wearing decent clothes and play sports. Now I'm a popular person... and I want to keep it going that way."