Don't have the PBS App? Click Here
- [Announcer] Tennessee Crossroads is made possible in part by. - I'm Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham, here in Cookeville, Tennessee's college town. We are bold, fearless, confident, and kind. Tech prepares students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that living wings up. Learn more at tntech.edu. - [Announcer] Averitt's Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averitt's reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at averitt.com. Discover Tennessee trails and byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at tntrailsandbyways.com. - This time on Tennessee Crossroads, you'll meet Nashville's music medics, some talented docs who practice impressive musical medicine, then sample some sweet stuff at Velma's Candy store in Lynchburg. Discover some liquid refreshment at an historic distillery at Leiper's Fork and wind up at the Outpost, a food and family getaway near Pickwick Lake. Hi everybody, I'm Joe Elmore. That's our big lineup for this edition of Tennessee Crossroads. Sure glad you joined us. We've all had those times when we feel a little under the weather, sometimes you need a doctor, but sometimes you might need something more. Miranda Cohen introduces us to a group of talented MDs who can cure your ills while carrying a tune. - [Miranda] This may look like a group of doctors getting ready to make their rounds, but actually it is much more. ♪ I'm sitting on top of the world ♪ ♪ Rolling along, rolling along ♪ - [Miranda] These men are medics, Nashville music medics, to be exact, and they are administering the very best medicine. ♪ Do, do, do, do, do, do ♪ ♪ You got a friend in me ♪ - I've been singing barbershop music for about 38 years, and without a doubt, the most meaningful thing I've ever done, singing this kind of music, is for these children in this kind of an environment. They see the staff come in in scrubs all the time, and they equate that with, oh, we're gonna get some medicine, maybe we're gonna get an injection. We just got the idea that let's put ourselves in scrubs and we'll just go in and start singing to these children and it's just made such a difference. ♪ 'Cause you've got friend in me ♪ ♪ Do bah do, do bah do ♪ ♪ Shooby do wop ♪ - [Miranda] On this day, we find them at the Children's Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial Medical Center, where they are working their magic. ♪ Doom ba, doom ba, doom ba doom ba da ♪ ♪ Doom ba, doom ba, doom ba, doom ba da ♪ - [Miranda] Founders Sam English, Wayne Jackson, musical directors, Chuck Hamilton and Paul Whitlessbach, along with a dozen other tenors, leads, basses, and baritones make up this incredibly talented all volunteer group. They have been singing the complex style of barbershop for years, and now they are working together at an outreach mission to bring joy or as they like to say, changing the world one smile at a time. ♪ Sweet and lovely ♪ ♪ That's what you're to me ♪ - It's one of the great joys of our singing life to be able to provide some joy, some comfort, maybe some peace to not only the child that we're singing to, but to his parents. - We're singing to these kids and families on really their worst day of their lives. So for us to come in and maybe bring a smile, that is so powerful. ♪ By my side ♪ - [Miranda] And their soothing melodies are also lifting the spirits of the hardworking healthcare workers that are taking care of the patients. ♪ A little spoon of granulated sugar ♪ ♪ Helps to make the bitter medicine go down, down, down ♪ - [Singer] We've tried to focus on singing to the nurses at the nurses station where we get a chance to give them a minute and a half, two minutes worth of the kind of joy and peace that we bring to these children. - [Miranda] And in the children's emergency department, Dr. Matt Yeager, also a barbershop singer, just couldn't help but join in. ♪ I love you ♪ - It's interesting from the standpoint, it's both the performance art as well as the musical art because we have, you know, terrible dad jokes. We goof around, we try to get a smile from the kids. - Sam gosh. - Oh, that's not the right one. - That's not the right key. - Oh, that's the harmonica mode. - Making 'em laugh, making 'em cry, making them experience the music that you're portraying. So that's our reward and that's what it's all about. ♪ Some of the folks might be a little bit smarter than I am ♪ ♪ Bigger and stronger too ♪ - [Singer] Every part has to stand alone, and when they get together and blend, it's like this richness, this cord ringing type sound that's just, nothing else sounds quite like it. - I think to the man, they will agree that we get as much out of this when we reflect on what we just did in that room or just did in this room. The music is powerful so that's why we do what we do. - [Singer] We get back so much more than we give really. - [Miranda] To the patients, staff, volunteers, and anyone else within earshot, they are striking the perfect chord and bringing so much happiness along the way. ♪ Oh, Miranda ♪ ♪ Miranda, bless your heart ♪ ♪ Oh, Miranda, that we love so well, so well ♪ ♪ We're here for you, our gal it's true ♪ ♪ You're the Miranda that we love so well ♪ ♪ Miranda, we love you ♪ ♪ Miranda we love you ♪ ♪ Love you in the spring and in the fall ♪ ♪ Miranda, we love you ♪ ♪ Miranda we love you ♪ ♪ Love you best of all ♪ ♪ Miranda, Miranda, Miranda, Miranda ♪ ♪ Miranda that we love so well ♪ - Okay, group hug, group hug, group hug, group hug. - Pretty cool, thanks a lot Miranda. When you hear the name Lynchburg, candy isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Well, Cindy Carter just might change your mind when you sample the sweets that she discovered at a place called Velma's Candy Store. - [Cindy] Wanna feel like a kid in a candy store? In Lynchburg, Tennessee, you absolutely can. In the town's old time square is Velma's candy store, a sweet spot for homemade confections. - We also try to just get creative with our candy and do stuff outside the box. I mean, you can always get a peanut butter cup, but you know, a peanut butter cup squished in between two Oreos is a different story. - [Cindy] And the story of Velma's also includes, if you can pull your eyes away from that display counter, buckets and boxes of the retro candy that many of us grew up with. - [Kellie] Anything that we had as a child, even if my distributor doesn't have it, I try to get online and find it somewhere. - [Cindy] If you make the sweet trip to Velma's, there's a good chance you'll run into owner, Kellie Sandefur. - Do you like caramel? You're welcome. - [Cindy] Kellie's candy crush began when, as a child, she haunted the candy aisle inside her grandparents' local grocery store, also on the Lynchburg Town Square. - It was called V and J Market. It's now where the Harley Davidson store is. My siblings and I would spend our childhood in their candy aisle, just gobbling up everything that they would let us gobble up. And we were very popular because our friends would be able to come over after school and do the same thing. - [Cindy] The V in V and J Market stood for Grandma Velma and she remains a powerful presence in the candy shop that also bears her name. Kellie believes it's a name that sets just the right tone. - It's very old fashioned, yes, you don't hear too many people named Velma. All of our whiskey truffles get dipped in dark chocolate except for the apple pie. It's in white. - [Cindy] Inside Velma's kitchen, Shannon Millsapps and her daughter Emma, create the many delicious delights that adorn Velma's display case. And it probably wouldn't surprise you to know that the not so secret ingredient in some of their most popular offerings comes from the nearby Jack Daniels distillery. From the tasty truffles to the fabulous fudge. - [Kellie] The one that's been around the longest is the pecan, chocolate pecan with old number seven. It's like a semi-sweet chocolate with the old number seven. And then we soak the pecans in Jack and add them last to where it's, they still have that full flavor of Jack in them. The truffles, each have the same basic recipe. It's a buttercream fondant. Then we add the different whiskeys to give them a different flavor. - [Cindy] The various spirits of Jack Daniels, such as the Tennessee Fire or Tennessee Honey used in the bee sting truffles, do flavor many of Velma's sweet treats. But there are also plenty of options with teetotalers in mind. Like Grandma Velma's favorite, turtles. - [Kellie] We wanted our turtles to look like turtles, so each of the pecans are strategically placed. One's a head and we got the feet and little legs and it's just really cute. - [Cindy] Other creative concoctions from the kitchen include the, oh yes, we did, which is a peanut butter cup sandwiched between two Oreos and dipped in milk chocolate. The brother to that is a peanut butter cup sandwiched between two nutter butters and dipped in milk chocolate. How about a puttin' on the Ritz? That's peanut butter between two Ritz crackers, then what else, dipped in chocolate and stamped with a V for Velma. - [Kellie] Our candy, we want it to be delicious, but we want it to be pretty too. - At Velma's, Southern Hospitality is also on display, warm and inviting, you can't help but feel welcome and nostalgic when you walk through that pink door. I mean, come on, when was the last time you had a Clark's candy bar or Beemans chewing gum or saltwater taffy? The candy slash retro candy that's also sold at Velma's just sweetens that old fashioned candy store experience. - [Kellie] We got bit, now bit of honey and we also, let's see. - [Cindy] Ultimately Kellie and company hope their little candy land brings more locals back to Lynchburg's Town Square, like Grandma Velma's grocery store once did. - This is where Lynchburg's history was made, is on this square and now people are coming back and kind of remembering the charm and remembering Lynchburg, this is their hometown, this is theirs, and Velma's is theirs. Bye y'all. Thank you. - Thanks Cindy. In our next story, you'll get a taste of Williamson County history from a glass as we visit the first legal distillery to open there since the early 19 hundreds. As Laura Faber discovered, the Leiper's Fork Distillery still does things the old fashioned way. - [Laura] If this land could talk, it would have a colorful story to tell. 27 Rolling Acres outside Leiper's Fork in Williamson County have quite a history, a heritage that whiskey lovers are reclaiming and paying tribute to. It's an old industry, made new again, through a growing number of new artisan distilleries here and statewide. - In 2009, a lot of forward-thinking legislators, they came together, wrote some legislation, and got it passed to allow distilleries back into Tennessee. So now you're seeing a burgeoning industry come back. - [Laura] Leiper's Fork Distillery is the first legal distillery in Williamson County since the early 19 hundreds. The property is gorgeous. From the 5,000 square foot timber frame still house to the circa 1820 cabin. It was deconstructed in Vanleer, Tennessee, and rebuilt log by log complete with the carving of the name of the man who originally built it. Through daily tours and tastings, visitors are greeted by tour guides like Pops, and learn that Tennessee and whiskey have always gone hand in hand. - We make whiskey in what's called pre-prohibition style. - [Laura] That style can be traced back to Scottish and Irish settlers who came to this state. Lead distiller and proprietor, Lee Kennedy says, many came with whiskey know-how, and literally the stills on their backs. - There's a direct link from Scotland and Ireland over to the United States of those early settlers that came in and started producing whiskey. Same method they used in Scotland and Ireland. They couldn't grow barley like they grew in Scotland and Ireland very well. So they used their native grains that they had here. They could grow rye. So rye whiskey was actually the first American whiskey to really be produced in any kind of bulk. And then corn-based distillates, bourbon, Tennessee whiskey made from corn. Corn is America's native grain. And so those guys took what their knowledge from Scotland and Ireland and literally just adapted it to the New World. - [Laura] Census numbers show that in 1896, the distilling industry was the largest manufacturing industry in the state. 322 total distilleries. Of course, prohibition put a stop to that. But even after federal prohibition ended in 1933, most Tennessee counties voted against distillation, essentially instituting a prohibition here of legal whiskey manufacturing that lasted 100 years. But moonshine prevailed. Luckily for Kennedy, today, he is able to legally make a living from his passion for whiskey. He built his first still at 16 years old, but now is fulfilling a dream. He left his career in financial services and opened Leiper's Fork Distillery in 2016. - We're part of a kind of a renaissance in Tennessee distilling that's been going on since 2009. - [Laura] Even this property has a history soaked in whiskey. Colonel Henry Hunter once owned this land and hundreds of acres more in the surrounding area. - When we came up with our first brand, we decided to name that after him. You know, it's, he was a true Tennessee volunteer, so we were kind of telling his story, which is kind of the story of a lot of early, early folks into Middle Tennessee. - [Laura] Leiper's Fork Distillery is a small batch distillery, producing about 25,000 gallons a year. Inside the still house, you find vats of bubbly mash in cyprus fermentation tanks. There is also the beautiful 500 gallon swan neck whiskey still. - That's 137 proof whiskey. So this is what the whiskey looks like as it's coming off the still. 100% of the color is gonna come from the barrel once it enters the barrel, but this is what we call new make whiskey. - [Laura] And all those charred white oak barrels are an extremely important part of the process. Two coarse spirits are made here, Tennessee whiskey and bourbon. - Sugar maple charcoal is the only difference really between Tennessee whiskey and bourbon. So the way you really make Tennessee whiskey is you make bourbon in the state of Tennessee, and before that whiskey goes into a barrel, we filter it through sugar maple charcoal. - This Tennessee Crossroads barrel has just been filled with whiskey. And the next step in the process involves putting in this plug made of Poplar wood that will swell and completely seal the barrel. Once it's in there, this whiskey won't see the light of day for five to seven years. Are you ready, here we go. Okay, that's satisfying. - Thank you, Laura. And in our last stop, we'll visit a little piece of paradise near Pickwick Dam in southwest Tennessee. Jay and Cher Harrison built it back in 2011 and they named it The Outpost. It's acclaimed for its delicious dining, but it's also evolved into a unique complete family getaway. Pickwick Lake comprises the north end of the Tennessee Tom Bigley waterway. It's a popular place for fishing and family getaways. And just a few miles north in Hardin County, Tennessee, you'll find this rustic settlement of sorts that beckons travelers to stop and stay a while. The Outpost grew from a single grocery store and bait shop to an award-winning restaurant and family destination. It began taking shape in 2011, thanks to the vision and hard work of Jay and Cher Harrison, a couple who followed their dream despite the doubts of naysayers. - We were told here, people pull up in the parking lot and tell us if we didn't sell alcohol or if we didn't, if we weren't open on Sundays, it wouldn't be open. And, but we believed but I kept feeling led to do it and to do something here also to give back. And that's how we, how we wound up being over here. - [Joe] Thanks to his background in construction, Jay handled the design and most of the muscle to build it. - The Outpost restaurant had to be expanded several times to accommodate crowds of locals and lake visitors alike. - We just opened the first room of the restaurant with four tables and we built a deck. So we enclosed the deck when we could, several months later, and built another deck. So I think we're on our, that's our fourth deck, I believe. So we build one and enclose it and build one and enclose it. - [Joe] Diners can enjoy breakfast and lunch six days a week, and the challenge may be what to choose. The extensive menu includes everything from juicy burgers to BLTs, from special salads to loaded spuds. But the main menu item will arouse your senses as soon as you arrive. Their slow cooked barbecue has been some hailed of the best in West Tennessee. - I guess growing up in Memphis, recognizing the barbecue over the years, actually for, I never realized why I paid so much attention to restaurants and good food in Memphis, but I also remember there's a difference in barbecue now. And a lot of restaurants you go to, a lot of places, they cook differently than what we used to. And we actually have gone back to the old way and we do it still the way that I was taught years ago. - [Joe] Another food favorite is an Outpost original, hog fries. - We use a, like a spicy waffle fry, and then load it with our barbecue pulled pork and top it with jalapenos and cheese and our secret white sauce, barbecue sauce. So we sell a lot of them, the hog fries, those are good. - [Joe] Like these ladies, you'll want to try to save at least a little space for their legendary banana pudding. - I had somebody one day ask me, said, what is your number one thing on the menu? And I said, what do you mean? And they said, well, most restaurants have one item that's their number one thing that they sell and what they do, and this is what it is and they build their menu around that. And I said, well, to me, if it's not good, it doesn't need to be on our menu. - All right, we have a pork spud. We've got the most awesome staff right now. Everyone works in unity and they're friendly with one another, they laugh together. - [Joe] Part of Jay and Cher's vision was to make The Outpost a complete tourist destination with places to explore like the grist mill replica, and with a place to stay like the Prospector Inn. It's a cozy B and B with lakeside decor that includes some creative touches like these drawers made of old soda cases. - [Jay] It's something not just to come here to eat, but it's also something, well, you can come and stay, and have a weekend getaway. - [Joe] On most visits, you can watch the woodworking magic of Bo Hancock using his trusty chainsaw to carve out bears and other beasts for sale at a store. Then there's the Lake House Gallery, a unique gift shop full of lake decor, original art, and lake girl clothing. - What you doing in here, Foghorn? - [Joe] Oh, and you'll get to meet The Outpost mascot, Foghorn. And even if you don't see him, you'll hear him, as we did during our interview. - Reunions or class parties. You know, wedding receptions, we can scare him off. - [Joe] Don't worry, Foghorn, you still rule the roost here at The Outpost. A great place to stop and eat, spend the night and enjoy a true family getaway. - They're so happy that we have a place that they can bring their family. It's peaceful and it's calm and it's fun for the kids. And you know, it's a good family place to come. - [Joe] You guys are working hard, but you're enjoying it and you're doing it together, right? - Oh yeah, absolutely. - That's right. - And yeah. - I know he enjoys it. - Yeah, oh, we do. - Well, can you believe it? Our time is just about up. But I wanna remind you to visit our website, Tennesseecrossroads.org, and while there you can download the PBS app and you can always join us next week and we'll look for you then. - [Announcer] Tennessee Crossroads is made possible in part by. - I'm Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham, here in Cookeville Tennessee's college town. We are bold, fearless, confident, and kind. Tech prepare students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that living wings up. Learn more at tntech.edu. - [Announcer] Averitt's Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averitt's reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at averitt.com. Discover Tennessee Trails and byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at tntrailsandbyways.com.
November 16, 2023
Season 37 | Episode 18
Miranda Cohen meets Nashville’s Music Medics. Some talented docs who practice some impressive musical medicine. Cindy Carter samples the sweets at Velma’s Candy Store in Lynchburg. Laura Faber discovers some liquid refreshment at a historic distillery in Leiper’s Fork. And Joe Elmore checks out the menu at the Outpost, a food and family getaway near Pickwick Lake.