Friday afternoon signaled the end of Former Metro Mayor Karl Dean’s tenure in Nashville’s highest political office as his successor, Metro Councilwoman Megan Barry, was sworn in as Music City’s newest Mayor. In the few days since the inauguration, sources close to Dean indicate that he is beginning to turn his focus to bear on his long-neglected other aspiration: a career as a country music performer.
“The demands of being a public official just never allowed for Karl to really focus on his music” explained Slim Watson, a former Mayor’s Office staffer who will also be producing Dean’s forthcoming album, “Hey y’all To the Chief”. “He focused all of his energy to the tasks of governance, and he did an outstanding job. Nashville has grown and found a new vitality, and that’s all thanks to Karl’s hard work and dedication. Now, that energy is being redirected from making Nashville the best it can be to making the best music he can make, and man, let me tell you what. It really is somethin’. Country’s about to get a new vitality all its own!”
Dean would hardly be the first notable person to abruptly switch gears and begin a country music career after becoming well-established in other arenas. Pop stars Jewel, Darius Rucker, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler have all left their trademark sounds and “gone country” in recent years, and rumors in the industry indicate that Florida-Georgia Line or Big and Rich may eventually release some country music too, one day, perhaps. There is even precedent for Dean’s aspiration in the history of the Metro Mayor’s office; few locals will ever forget (or live-down) the much-lamented performance of “Rocky Top” on the Phil Donahue Show by Traci Peel, backed-up on harmonica by her fiance/then-Mayor Bill Boner. This would, however, mark the first successful transition to country by a Nashville Mayor, if his efforts are indeed a success.
“Around the Courthouse, when the cameras weren’t on, we all would call him Tex. It’s what he prefers” noted Former-Vice Mayor Howard Gentry. Occasionally, you’d see his office door closed in the afternoons and, a few minutes later, soft sounds of yodelling and a mandolin would come eeking out from under the door. That was usually when you knew he was about to announce something like a new infrastructure project or a veto or something.”
Watson notes that Karl “Tex” Dean has been “writing up a storm” over the weekend, and already turned in a few homemade demos that they’ll begin working on soon. “It’s gonna blow people away to hear his keen political insightfulness combined with old-fashioned country twang. Nashvillians won’t know what to do with themselves!” Among the demos that Watson has reportedly received are “The L&C(& W) Tower”, “Git’ Along, Lil’ Developers”, “It City Folk”, and “Save a Horse, Ride Public Transit”.
[Editor’s note: In all seriousness, thank you Mayor Dean for all of your hard work on behalf of Nashville. It is much appreciated.]
The image above was (admittedly poorly) created from pictures found at the following sites:
Karl Dean – http://southernalpha.com/investors,developers,founders/karl-dean/