For outstanding service to journalism in Tennessee, Joe Edwards is inducted into the 2019 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.
Joe Edwards, a native of Crawfordsville, Indiana, has spent all his adult life in journalism. In college, he edited two campus newspapers: The Progress at Eastern Kentucky University and the Trailblazer at Vincennes University in Indiana.
Turning pro, Joe worked for the Associated Press for 42 years, all in Nashville. During this time, he acted as both day and night supervisor, and he was among a team of AP writers who covered the death of Elvis Presley in 1977.
Joe gained national attention in the mid-1980s while covering the music beat, the most coveted job in the office. In the 1980s and beyond, he interviewed virtually every country music star including Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.
In the 1980s, Joe wrote several articles about the enduring popularity of the song "Rocky Top," which inspired the General Assembly to proclaim it a state song.
And in a display of music news virtuosity, Joe also successfully covered the growing opera, that's o-p-e-r-a, not o-p-r-y, scene in Nashville, generating nationwide-interest in a little-known part of the Nashville music scene.
He has also covered music festivals across the South.
Transferring his talent to television, he became a commentator for the Nashville Network cable channel.
Joe retired in 2012, but journalism has remained part of his life, as he speaks about the media to current event groups in Bellevue and Green Hills.
Joe Edwards has distinguished himself by outstanding service to the profession of journalism, and has brought great honor to himself, his community and the State of Tennessee.