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Country Music Planet's Jerry Mac tells the story Of Houndogs Hot Dogs on Music Row in Nashville, TN.

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   There use to be a business at the corner of 16th and Demonbreaun in Nashville on World Famous Music Row called HOUNDOGS. It was  Pictured from left to right are Kenny Chesney - Flash Flanagan - Tim McGraw. The little girl in front of Flash is Flash's niece, Linzy.owned by a very interesting individual that everyone called "Flash".  In this writers opinion an entire book should be written about this little spot on Planet Earth that played a big part in developing the talents of some of the biggest names in country music. This place was really popular during the late eighties and early nineties of the 20th century. At that time tourist were coming from all over the world to visit Nashville's Music Row, and I'd bet that not too many of them left without having a hot dog and listening to good music presented by HOUNDOGS. During the period of time that Flash owned HOUNDOGS, the biggest draw to Nashville was the street singers you could find in front of the businesses on Music Row, and no place can come close to matching HOUNDOGS' success in picking entertainers that would eventually become household names.
   There was a real small, crudely built stage that stood only a foot or so off the ground at the east end of the hot dog stand. The stage was
about 5' x 5' in size. Even though I performed on this stage myself for a couple of years every Friday, I can't absolutely guarantee the height or size of the stage. I never measured it. I just performed on it.
   Flash was a very smart businessman, and he knew the way to sell hot dogs was to have good  entertainers to attract the country music fans. Well! it worked. Flash sold a lot of hot dogs, and a lot of, then
unknown, country music singer/songwriters won over many fans from around the world. Flash had a knack for picking the best of the new singer/songwriters in Nashville to showcase on his little stage.
   Tim McGraw's first real successful album could not have developed like it did had it not been for the things that were happening at HOUNDOGS. At least, that's this writer's opinion. Tim had released one album already, but it wasn't until the album, "Not A Moment Too Soon" was released that Tim could sense the aroma of the sweet smell of success. None of the singer/songwriters performing on this stage were paid for performing. Each of them depended strictly upon tips from the tourist, or the sales of their music that was usually in the form of cassette tapes at that time. Not all of them had tapes to sell, so they depended strictly on tips. Some of them even sold T-shirts. I can't remember which ones sold tapes and T-shirts. I only know some did & some didn't.
   Yes! Believe it. It's true. The now world famous, Tim McGraw was singing for tips at HOUNDOGS on Music Row, so don't anyone ever say he didn't pay his dues. The first release from the album, "Not A Moment Too Soon" was Indian Outlaw. One of the writers of this song was Tommy Barnes, who, also, sang for tips at HOUNDOGS. Since that time, Tommy has gone on to have many country music hits as a songwriter. "Don't Take The Girl" that was written by Craig Martin & Larry Johnson, was another hit off this album. Yea! they both sang for tips at HOUNDOGS. As a matter of fact, this was each of these writers' first cut. Jerry Lassiter, now a very well respected producer and songwriter in Nashville, was singing on that little stage. Jerry penned the hit song, "Down On The Farm" that came from the same album. The title cut from the album, "Not A Moment Too Soon" was written by Wayne Perry & Joe Barnhill, Jr. To see a list of other songs Joe has written, click here. To see a list of other songs Wayne has written, click here. I don't know if Wayne or Joe ever sang there for tips or not, but I use to see Wayne hanging around there a lot. At this time, Wayne had already had success with a song he'd written, "What Part Of No Don't You Understand", that was a big hit for Lori Morgan. 
   Another singer that was singing for tips at Houndogs is a household name now. His name is Kenny Chesney. If you don't know who Kenny Chesney is by now, you must either have been living in a cave, or just never listen to the radio. What else needs to be said about him. His latest CD only sold 550,000 copies in one week.
   David Lowe use to sing there at Houndogs for tips, also. Oh! So you don't know who David Lowe Is? OK! Click here to view some of the songs he wrote. You'll know him then.
   This is only one small part of the contributions HOUNDOGS and Flash made to country music. If I went into everything I know that went on at that corner, I'd have to write a book. I believe I'll leave that up to Flash. The last time I saw him, he said he was working on it.
   It is a crying shame that things have to change. I will never forget the good times all the country music fans had coming to Music Row to see street singers in front of almost every business. I, personally, miss it as a performer and as a fan.

Jerry Mac

 To see more pictures of a few of the stars that frequented Houndogs before and after they were famous click here.

   This picture at the top of this site was taken on New Years Eve, 1999 at Tim McGraw's Millennium Party celebrating bringing in the 21st century.
   Pictured from left to right are Kenny Chesney - Flash Flanagan - Tim McGraw. The little girl in front of Flash is Flash's niece, Linzy. Any unauthorized copying of these pictures will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Here is just one song that came out of Houndogs

Indian Outlaw
We present this song in it's entirety.
Singer: Tim McGraw

Click here to hear hit country music song, INDIAN OUTLAW.

 BMI Award Winning Song!
Writers:  GENE SIMMONS, TOMMY BARNES, JOHN D LOUDERMILK

Publishers:
ACUFF ROSE MUSIC INC (A R PUB)
HAMSTEIN CUMBERLAND MUSIC

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