Japanese Immigrant Is Nashville’s First AAPI City Council Member

Mina Johnson is living the American dream, but it’s one she hadn’t dreamed about growing up. An immigrant from Japan, Johnson is Nashville’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander member of the city council. “I never imagined I would be doing this when I left Japan,” she says. Because of deep-rooted cultural traditions, it’s still unusual for women in Japan to enter politics and for Asian Americans to run for public office — particularly in the self-proclaimed “buckle of the …

Shopping Malls: A Suburban Renaissance?

Since the mid-20th century – with the rapid rise of the suburbs – shopping malls have been a big part of American life. In the ’80s and ’90s, malls became veritable town centers: giving us a one-stop shopping destination, bringing in the biggest and busiest restaurant chains, and serving as an after-school playground for our teenagers. And for many years, malls were an integral part of our culture – as evidenced by the prominent role they played in cult classics such …

Karen Black: Five Great Movie Appearances

Of all the eras in Hollywood history, the decade that stretched from 1969 to 1979 was perhaps the most daring, a time of experimental masterpieces that shocked audiences into seeing the world in a different way. In the era’s edgy eloquence, Karen Black portrayed quirky women who found themselves in trouble. The Chicago-area native, who passed away on Aug. 8 at age 74 in Los Angeles, appeared in nearly 200 movies and TV shows in a career that stretched from …

May Sweeps Go Out With a Twang

This year’s May sweeps end Wednesday night – and the schedule over these final four days is a veritable dessert cart of TV goodness. Tomorrow night (5/20), there’s the delectable “Mel Brooks: Make a Noise” offered by PBS’s American Masters. Also tomorrow night: the final performance show of this season’s Dancing With the Stars, with the results show coming up Tuesday night. And y’all had better hold on tight for the season finale of ABC’s Nashville on Wednesday (5/22). One of …

George Jones: 10 Facts About the Country Music Legend

George Jones, who died on April 26 at age 81 in Nashville, was such a giant in the world of country music that a song Jim Lauderdale wrote about him, “The King of Broken Hearts,” became a hit for George Strait. And that was a fitting appellation. Jones, who possessed a superlative, pitch-perfect baritone – Frank Sinatra reportedly once called him “the second greatest singer in the world” – was royalty as a vocalist. But he also exemplified the tension between …

‘Nashville’ Scores, Catfight or No

The sublime Connie Britton gets smacked in the face with ageism as a country super star who suddenly finds a brazen little man eater – Hayden Panettiere – usurping her territory in Nashville, premiering Wednesday (10/10) on ABC. Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes doesn’t bother playing nice to established star Rayna James.  Unlike All About Eve’s Eve Harrington, Juliette is vixenishly vicious, snubbing Rayna from the get-go, as she poaches Rayna’s guitarist, her producer, her record company. Even Rayna’s daughters, sitting in the …