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Heritage Alliance elects new president
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Pictured, from left, are Ron Harmon, Bobby Tomberlin, incoming Heritage Alliance president Bruce Atnip, Tess Frizzell, current Heritage Alliance president Krystal Tanner and vice president Cody Prince. Frizzell and Tanner are holding a Dottie West Day Proclamation which was donated to the museum.
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From left, Tess Frizzell is presented with the Preserver of History Award by Heritage Alliance vice president Cody Prince.

The Heritage Alliance of McMinnville-Warren County held its annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at its Heritage Center and Museum located on E Main Street in conjunction with the soft opening of the museum’s new exhibit “Our Music Pathways.”

The exhibit showcases Warren County’s musical heritage, featuring displays honoring photographer and musician W.S. Lively, Western Swing Hall of Fame member Smoky Rogers, Country Music Hall of Fame members Uncle Dave Macon and Dottie West, Grand Ole Opry manager Hal Durham and many more local music pathways members, some of which were present for this event.

Heritage Alliance made changes to its officers and board. Added to the board was Lucas Holt to serve as secretary, while current president Krystal Tanner asked to step down and become treasurer.

Our Music Pathways director Bruce Atnip was voted as incoming president, and Cody Prince remained vice president. Retained on the board are president emeritus Jimmy Haley and board members Dalton Pack, Carolyn Taylor and Teresa Walker.

Visitors to chatted with the guest speaker and country music royalty Tess Frizzell, who is the granddaughter of our local superstar Dottie West. She is the daughter of Shelly West and Allen Frizzell and the younger brother of Lefty and David Frizzell.

The royal court members accompanying her were Ron Harmon, with the Country Music Hall of Fame and its Studio B tours, and Bobby Tomberlin, one of the great songwriters with Curb Records. Tomberlin has partnered with Steve Wariner to complete an unfinished song started by Dottie West in her early career. The song now recorded by Jeannie Seely is “If You Could Call It That.”

“The exhibit also honors musical talents that died tragically with special ‘candle stops’ and this lantern is in memory of all our musical friends that have passed on,” Tanner said.

Those candle stops are for trumpet player Jordan Stevens who played in the Pioneer Pride Band, Dottie West, and bass player Bow Brown who played with the Sonic Circus Review. Incoming president Atnip introduced Frizzell and said, “Like me, she is a third-generation musician, keeping the tradition of her family alive.” 

Frizzell was touched by the outpouring of love for Dottie who had family in the audience that came to see their Nashville relative and one Central High School classmate, Betty Yates. Frizzell introduced Ron Harmon who presented Atnip with an item for the Music Pathways exhibit: the Dottie West Day Proclamation from Sept. 4, 1986 which was handed to Dottie by then-Mayor Royce Davenport. Bobby 

Tanner and Prince concluded the event by giving out Preservers of History awards, starting with Frizzell. The certificate read, “Warren County Heritage Alliance recognizes Tess Frizzell as a Preserver of History for keeping Music Heritage alive, being a third-generation musician, by performing the music of the past generations while adding her own mark to that heritage.”

The last award given was to Jimmy Haley for his years of service and leadership with the alliance. Other Preservers of History awarded that evening were J.B. and Ann Brown, Carol Caldwell, Steven Helton, Chris Keithley, Johnny and Julie Myers, Marty Waldron, Warren County A&L Fair Board, Wayne Wolford, Jonathan Womack and Young Men United.