Live from Hickman County, It’s the Grinder’s Switch Hour!

December 26, 2012 in Editorials

Visit the Centerville Square in Hickman County on any Saturday morning and you are in for a true one-of-a-kind treat. Starting a little before 10 a.m., locals and visitors head into the Grinder’s Switch Center to find a chair. They know that an old-fashioned live radio show will start at 10 a.m. sharp. Host Mickey Bunn welcomes everyone and introduces the Grinder’s Switch Ensemble, made up of local musicians who volunteer to entertain every Saturday morning. Then for the next hour and a half, the audience will enjoy music, comedy, and maybe a story or two. And, there is usually a special guest, including singers and songwriters who live in Middle Tennessee and work in the Nashville music scene.

In addition to entertaining the audience at the Grinder’s Switch Center, the show also broadcasts live on local radio station KIX 96. Station owner Steve Turner sponsors the show and is also a featured performer, as is Kix DJ Mickey Bunn who serves as both host and a member of the Grinder’s Switch Ensemble.

The show makes its home in the Grinder’s Switch Center, which serves as a museum to the Nashville musicians who trace their roots to Hickman County. One of the best known is Minnie Pearl. This Centerville native served as a member of the Grand Old Opry from 1940 until her death in 1996. In fact, her signature “Howdeee!” is heard many times during the show in addition to her classic comedy bits.

The Grinder’s Switch Hour was started in 2004 by Charlie Garner, who toured with the late Mr. Entertainer Del Reeves for 30 years. His goal was to explore the rich music heritage of Hickman County and showcase talented local musicians. Garner passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2008 but his show continues thanks to Turner, Bunn and the rest of the dedicated volunteers. Host Mickey Bunn considered Garner his mentor and is proud to help continue his dream. In fact, he says he feels his presence every Saturday morning when he picks up his microphone and mandolin. There is no cost to be part of this bona fide Tennessee tradition, but Mickey, Steve and the rest of the group suggest you get there early before all of the seats are taken. Call 931 729-5774 to get more information.