to be a business at the corner of 16th and Demonbreaun in Nashville on
World Famous Music Row called HOUNDOGS. It was
owned by a very interesting
individual that everyone called "Flash". In this writers
an entire book should be written about this little spot on Planet Earth
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
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 &
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
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.
To see more pictures of a few of the stars that
frequented Houndogs before and after they were famous click
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
We present this song in it's entirety.
Singer: Tim McGraw
BMI Award Winning Song!
Writers: GENE SIMMONS, TOMMY BARNES, JOHN D LOUDERMILK
ACUFF ROSE MUSIC INC (A R PUB)
HAMSTEIN CUMBERLAND MUSIC