Curious Nashville | Nashville Public Radio

Curious Nashville

In Curious Nashville, we answer your questions about the city and Middle Tennessee region. We investigate oddities, share local history, tell stories of interesting people, and explain how local institutions operate. 

Periodically, we'll post a voting round where you help decide what we should investigate in our longform storytelling Curious Nashville podcast.

We also answer questions more frequently in web posts and radio stories — scroll down to see what we've already answered. 



*Special thanks to the SunTrust Foundation for providing technology funding for Curious Nashville. 

Chas Sisk / WPLN

This is a shortened version that aired Wednesday, Jan. 4. For the complete Curious Nashville podcast episode about Jefferson Street's R&B scene, click here.

Before he was an international superstar, Jimi Hendrix spent a year on Nashville's Jefferson Street. It's a chapter in the guitar legend's biography that's often glossed over.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Before he was an international superstar, Jimi Hendrix spent a year on Nashville's Jefferson Street. It's a chapter in Hendrix's musical life that many biographers gloss over. In our latest episode of Curious Nashville, we explain why he came here — and what it says today about the city's most prominent African-American neighborhood.

Adinda Uneputty

Nashville Public Radio listener Holden Penley sent this question to Curious Nashville:

Why is Nashville Music City? Why here and not somewhere else?

Douglas Corzine, Madeline Goetz / WPLN

This episode wanders into supernatural territory in the search for unmarked graves. It began innocently enough: A listener asked us about Nashville's oldest structures. But as we visited some of the city's oldest homes, we found family graveyards that date back 200 years or more — and some owners, it turns out, relied on a generations-old practice with mysterious power to find unmarked graves. Which led us to the question: What's up with "water-witching" in Nashville?

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Either Nashvillians can't spell, or there's a prominent Fred Douglas that no one knows about.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Even long-time Nashvillians may have forgotten the quirky carousel that used to twirl along the banks of the Cumberland River.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Even an odd street name like "Granny White" fades into the background for anyone who regularly drives the shady two-lane road to Brentwood. But a few listeners have submitted Curious Nashville questions about it, like this one:

Was Granny White Pike named for a real woman? Who was she? When and where did she live?

Nashville reservoir flood 1912 photo

There’s something about past mayhem that intrigues people. Hence, this question submitted to Curious Nashville: 

What is the history of the Nashville reservoir flood, and what is the reservoir’s use today?

The reservoir in question is the 8th Avenue Reservoir.

Jay T. Thomson / courtesy Robert W. Thomson

The Curious Nashville inbox has received several variations on the same question: What happened to passenger rail service in Nashville? Residents are right to be curious. Nashville is one of the largest cities in the country to have no rail connection to another city.

Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Here's an intriguing Curious Nashville question we received from Thais Carr:

Exactly how does "Gravity Hill" in Warner Park work? Many times I went up and backwards in my VW with just one tap on the gas.

If you've lived in Nashville for decades (rather than just years), you may remember when a certain road in Edwin Warner Park — now closed to car traffic — seemed to possess magical powers.