226*: Our 3rd Annual Awesome Issue of Mighty Lists

*A special tribute to Knoxville's founding 226 years ago with completely useless trivia gathered by Travis Gray!

A Brief Note of Introduction From Jack Neely

Like you, perhaps, I don't know what to make of this. I saw it for the first time just now, as we're about to send it to press.

What follows, in the pages to come, is the work of our talented young art director, Travis Gray. To those who dislike Metro Pulse, he may be better known as the lead singer and conductor of the Mito Band.

He generously offered to contribute this experiment in alternative journalism at a time when we're shorter-staffed than any of us remember, as we interview candidates for a vacant reporter position and also await the return of another staffer from a sojourn in France.

Most of what's stated here is true, as far as I know. Many of these facts might seem to call for asterisks and footnotes or further explication. Things make more sense when they're put in context, but when we do so, they're often not quite as humorous. Existence on this planet is much more peculiar than we like to pretend it is, and we've found that explanation doesn't always help very much.

So enjoy this if you can. If you can't, just put this issue carefully back in the box. We'll soon publish another feature story with actual prose, including paragraphs, transitions, logical conclusions, that sort of thing.

1. Jack Neely has held such positions as contributor, staff writer, and Associate Editor (current).

2. He has worked at the Metro Pulse longer than anyone.

(Though Coury Turczyn was here first)


3. Where's Margie Ison?

Margie was a television phenomenon...She had the ability to speak directly into the hearts of each and every person who watched her weathercasts.

—Gene Patterson, WATE.com

She has retired.


4. WUOT, 90.3 FM—October 1949

5. WATE, Channel 6—October 1, 1953 (as WROL-TV)

6. WBIR, Channel 10—August 12, 1956

7. WVLT, Channel 8—October 1, 1953 (as WSKT-TV)


8. 104 on July 12, 1930

9. -24 on January 21, 1985


10. Knoxville still has a phonebook

11. If someone asks you why, you can say, "Knoxville is so 20th century"

12. This will make you sound smart, hip, and modern.

13. We looked for a phone book around the office for 30 minutes until we finally found one from 2008.

14. It was stuck in an old file cabinet.

15. Another thing found in that cabinet is old press releases from long-forgotten performers.

RANDOM facts gleaned from the 2007-2008 Yellow Book, Knoxville Area:

16. Cobblers do not have their own section.

17. Six business fall under the heading, "Decals."

18. One business is a "Speed Reducer."

19. There are 44 listings for Liquor Stores

20. There are about 670 listings for Restaurants

LISTINGS OF the major fast food chains:

21. McDonald's: 21

22. Wendy's: 11

23. Hardee's: 13

24. Burger King: 13

25. Taco Bell: 14


26. Truman

27. William

28. Jake

29. Dharma

30. Greg

31. River

32. Sam

33. Zech

34. Zach

35. Zak

36. Zack

37. Paul

38. "Say No To Drugs" is a frequent filler that permeates the listings, because you might not have known to say "no."

39. A filler is unsold space of an unusual or difficult size, utilized by the publication to promote themselves or a particular message.

40. We have a filler ad on page 31 that you can take a look at.

41. There is also one on page 53. Now you know what a filler is!

42. If you would like to purchase ad space in the Metro Pulse you may do so by contacting Kevin Pack at 865.342.6070.

43. Kevin Pack is the Metro Pulse Sales Director.

44. He likes to go boating!


45. Jack Neely drove Sarah Vowell (writer and the voice of Violet in The Incredibles) from the airport to a conference in Greenville where they were both giving a talk.

46. "Benjamin Linus" from Lost ate at La Costa on Market Square.

47. Billy Joel reportedly wrote his 1977 hit "Only the Good Die Young" at the Orangery.

48. Liberace's favorite Knoxville restaurant was the now-defunct Regas. He would always order not one, but two pieces of red velvet cake.

49. Rock band Tesla autographed the ceiling of South Knoxville pizzeria I Love NY Pizza.

50. One of Alex Haley's favorite local restaurants was Wright's Cafeteria.



51. First female mayor of Knoxville

52. Pay: $130,000/yr


53. Enjoys Running

54. Pay: $0 (does not accept salary)


55. Extremely fixated on homosexuals

56. Pay: $19,009/yr

They represent the following (in 2010)*:

57. 178,887 Knoxvillians

58. Median Age of Knoxvillians: 33.4

59. Persons under 18 years: 19.1%

60. Persons 65 years and over: 12.6%

61. White persons: 76.1%

62. Black persons: 17.1%

63. American Indian and Alaska Native persons: 0.4%

64. Asian persons: 1.6%

65. Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.2%

66. Persons reporting two or more races: 2.5%

67. Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin: 4.6%

68. White persons not Hispanic, percent: 74.2%

69. High school graduates: 84.2%

70. Bachelor's degree or higher: 29.0%

71. Median household income: $32,756

72. Persons below poverty level: 23.4%

73. *This information is from the Census. Thanks, Census!

Let's compare this to Metro Pulse reader demographics!

74. Average reader income: $50,000+

75. Percent of female readers: 48%

76. Percent of male readers: 52%

77. Percent of readers who are alive: 100%



Open up your web browser and search for:

78. Richard Baumgartner

79. Jerry L. Smith

80. John W. Shumaker

81. J. Wade Gilley

82. Leslie Janous

83. Bill Lockett


The favored past time of Knoxvillians

Go to knoxnews.com or wbir.com

Click on a random story

Try to be the first one to post an irrelevant racist, homophobic, and/or ignorant comment!


This is not a popular game.

Find someone different from you and appreciate them.


86. Black Flag played in the parking lot of VIC AND BILL'S in 1985.

A few bands who have played at 80-person venue Pilot Light only to come back to play the TN Theatre or Bijou:

87. Bon Iver (twice)

88. Civil Wars

89. Dirty Projectors

90. Akron/Family

91. Black Keys

92. What this says: Your new favorite band tomorrow is probably playing in a small club somewhere tonight.

93. Joan, from Mad Men, was born in Knoxville

..................Her real name is Christina Hendricks..................


This week's current top 25 movies in Knoxville (according to Netflix) are:

94. Area 51

95. Sleepy Hollow

96. Amish Grace

97. The World's Fastest Indian

98. Body of Lies

99. Changeling

100. Batman Begins

101. The Young Victoria

102. Leap Year

103. Robin Hood

104. Winnie the Pooh

105. Return of the Jedi

106. The Hangover

107. Hesher

108. The Lightning Thief

109. Raiders of the Lost Ark

110. Like Dandelion Dust

111. Knowing

112. Beastly

113. The Wrestler

114. Harry Potter the Deathly Hallows: Part II

115. Batman: Year One

116. Fright Night

117. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

118. Letters to Juliet

119. WUTK Receives no funding from the University. It has had on-air interviews with many modern music luminaries like:

120. Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine

121. Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth.

"Knoxville Girl"

122. The Appalachian murder ballad, has been professionally recorded by at least 17 bands.


123. Nick Cave

124. BR5-49

125. Elvis Costello


126. The Lemonheads.

127 Knoxville native Stick McGhee is believed by some to have recorded the first rock'n'roll song ever, "Drinkin' Wine (Spo-de-o-de)," in 1948.

128. The first known public country-music performance in Knoxville was in 1883, conducted at Staub's Opera House

129. This was a sort of prank on a classical-music festival.

130. Sterchi Brothers Furniture was once one of the South's major sellers of phonographs.

131. Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff performed the last piano concert of his long career at UT's Alumni Hall in early 1943.

132. The Rachmaninoff statue in World's Fair Park is a Russian sculptor's tribute to that event.

133. Former Beatle Paul McCartney stopped in West Knoxville to get his car fixed in 1974.

134. Roy Acuff is a popular guy!

135. Roy Acuff was raised in Knoxville.

136. Roy Acuff is responsible for making Nashville "Music City."

137. Roy Acuff's first Knoxville band was called the Three Rolling Stones.

138. The British Rolling Stones played a concert at the Civic Coliseum in 1965

139. Only a couple hundred fans saw the show because it started so late.

140. Most Pilot Light shows start around 11 p.m.

141. In the late '60s and early '70s, James Brown owned a radio station in Knoxville called WJBE: the James Brown Experience.

142. James Brown was arrested after a show at the Civic Coliseum in 1974 for inciting to riot.


143. Clarence Brown is a Knoxvillian born in 1890

144. He's someone to be proud of!

145. The Clarence Brown theatre is named after Clarence Brown!

146. Clarence grew up in Old North Knoxville.


He also graduated from UT with two degrees in engineering in 1910.

148. He began his filmmaking career in silent movies.

149. He is credited with launching the career of Greta Garbo.

150. Johnny Knoxville is famous!

151. He was born in Knoxville in 1971.

152. His real name is Philip John Clapp


153. All the Way Home (1963) about a young boy and his mother dealing with the sudden death of his father.

15. Incoming Freshman (1979) about an "innocent girl" from a small town who goes to college and starts various relationships with different boys.

155. Box of Moonlight (1996), starring John Turturro, about a man going through a mid-life crisis.

156. October Sky (1999), starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

157. The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things (2004), by Asia Argento, based on a fabricated memoir of fictional writer JT Leroy about a child living with a horrible monster.

158. The first known film ever made in Knoxville is a short clip of a horse-drawn fire engine leaving the old Commerce Street Station in 1915.

159. Old Commerce Street Station is now the parking lot of Bacon & Co.


Look them up!

161. The local punk band Pink Sexy's played a skinhead band in an episode of City Confidential.

162. City Confidential was produced in Knoxville.

163. City Confidential is no longer produced.

164. I have seen two episodes of City Confidential.

165. City Confidential's episode about murderess Claudine Longet neglected to mention any of her hit records or her recording career whatsoever.

166. That made me mad.


167. Total number of firms in 2007: 19,873

168. Women-owned firms in 2007: 24.0%

169. Mean travel time to work in minutes: 18.6

170. The Tomato Head was originally called The Flying Tomato

171. The Flying Tomato is also the name of a small farm in South Dakota

172. The Tomato Head is also the name of a record label

173. A tamale dunked in chili is known as the Full House in Knoxville and nowhere else.

174. It was likely introduced to Knoxville in 1887 by Harry Royston, a black street vendor.

175. The New York Times was founded by Adolph Ochs, who grew up in Knoxville.

176. He was afraid of the First Presbyterian graveyard on State Street.

177. Adolph Ziegler, whose last name is obvious at 9 Market Square, was a German-immigrant sausagemaker in the 1880s.

178. Market Street was called Prince Street until 1917.

179. The name was changed during World War I, allegedly because Germany had princes.

180. Happy Holler is believed to have earned its name in the 1930s when Brookside Mills millworkers came to appreciate its cheerful variety of beer joints.


181. Are Cool

182. Neyland Stadium was named for former coach Robert Neyland.

183. He also designed it!

184. In the 1930s, Neyland came up with "the Seven Maxims of Football":

185. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

186. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE.

187. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam.

188. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

189. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE.

190. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

191. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

192. Neyland Stadium's official capacity is 102,455 people

How Many People Is That?

193. This would hold three times the population of Tennessee in 1790...

194. Ten times the current population of Soddy Daisy...

195. Everyone in Johnson City and their evil twin.

Popular activities during a UT Football Game:

196. Staying indoors

197. Avoiding campus

198. Leaving town

199. Complaining

200. Watching Downton Abbey

201. Breathing

202. Crying

203. The first baseball game in Tennesse was on Gay Street in 1865.

204. The teams were made up of former Union and Confederate soldiers.

205. The Union soldiers, who called themselves "the Knoxvilles," won.

206. Kin Takahashi is believed to have introduced college football to East Tennessee, around 1889.


207. The least crime ridden area of Knoxville is Whispering Hills.

208. The top committed crimes in Knoxville are property crimes.

209. Wiping boogers on someone is a crime of assault, batter and/or vandalism.

11 Random mugshots from the past week:

Jack's Random Facts to impress your random dinner guests:

221. Our Federal Reserve Board was partly founded by U.S. Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo, who spent much of his youth in Knoxville. He built Knoxville's first electric streetcar system in 1890, and in 1897 was jailed here for his part in a riot that ensued when he attempted to build a second, competing system. The remarkable McAdoo also organized the first subway under the Hudson River, served as a U.S. Senator from California, ran twice for U.S. president, and co-founded United Artists.

222. Greystone, the Broadway mansion that's now headquarters to WATE, is the last known completed project by noted Washington, D.C. architect Alfred Mullett, who committed suicide just as Greystone was being completed. Mullett, whose work is still prominent in D.C, had, much earlier in his career, designed Knoxville's Custom House at Market and Clinch, now the oldest part of the History Center.

223. General Sherman described Knoxville as the best-fortified city he had ever seen.

224. General Grant rang in the New Year, 1864, in downtown Knoxville.

225. Church Street Methodist Church, the only downtown church named for a street, is not on Church Street. It's on Henley, between Hill and Main.

226. The first time the term "hot dog" is known to have been used was in 1893, when a Knoxville newspaper used the term casually to describe a sausage in a roll, sold by street vendors.