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Nov. 7: It’s not often that a musician comes home with bruises after a recording session. But 60 years ago today, Nashville drummer Farris Coursey did just that, after slapping his thigh over and over and over again, through several takes, to create the sound of a rag popping. It’s one — but just one — of the elements that sent “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” to previously unscaled heights for a country record.

Read this decade-old article by Randy Fox in the Nashville Scene to get the full story of “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” (15 weeks on the Billboard pop chart, three of them at No. 1) and the other classic numbers recorded over parts of four days in November 1949 by Red Foley at the old Castle Studio in downtown Nashville’s Tulane Hotel. You’ll learn about Foley, versatile, influential and now-largely-overlooked; pianist and up-and-coming record producer Owen Bradley; songwriter Fred Rose and the two Grand Ole Opry execs to whom he gave author credit (and why); and hot musicians Grady Martin (guitar) and Billy Robinson (steel).

I’ve spotlighted Foley, Martin, and Rose in past installments of 3 Chords a Day. To learn more about Owen Bradley — without whom Nashville would not have been the “third coast” recording center it became — see his Country Music Hall of Fame and Allmusic.com profiles.

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