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How One Small Mountain Town Became a Legendary Destination for Country Music

The Listening Room Pigeon Forge

The Listening Room Pigeon Forge

Ole Red Gatlinburg

Ole Red Gatlinburg

Dolly Parton's Stampede

Dolly Parton's Stampede

Pigeon Forge is an incredible destination for country music! The Listening Room is proud to be a part of this thriving community, offering an unparalleled experience for guests and songwriters alike.”
— Chris Blair, Owner and Founder of The Listening Room
PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES, January 17, 2022 / -- As live music returns to full force and domestic travel continues to rise, one destination town in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains has quietly become a thriving epicenter for country music.

Pigeon Forge, a tiny town with 6,500 in population, was put on the map in 1987 by Dolly Parton's Dollywood. Having grown up on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in nearby Sevierville County, Dolly sought to bring jobs, entertainment and fun to the community where she spent her childhood. In recent years the town has become a thriving destination filled with dining, shops, family-friendly attractions, and more recently: top tier country music.

Below are four destinations for country music fans looking to experience this rising music scene.


As the newest music experience to emerge in Pigeon Forge, this renowned Nashville venue is famed for hosting some of the best emerging songwriters and country musicians in the nation. Opened in the fall, the Pigeon Forge location brings with it nightly songwriter rounds from established artists, a lively lunch, brunch and dinner menu, as well as the opportunity to hear new and undiscovered talent.


Another recent addition to the Smoky Mountains music scene, Blake Shelton's Ole Red restaurant and bar opened its doors in 2019 in neighboring Gatlinburg. The acclaimed country music star and coach on the hit television show ‘The Voice’ has brought with him nightly live music, a honky tonk ambiance, and a dance floor built for two-stepping.


While most visitors will be familiar with the iconic Dollywood park, real country music fans gravitate towards Dolly Parton's stampede. The fun-filled dinner show offers a combination of live country music, horse-riding stunts, and comedy. Cowboy hats encouraged.


A 25-year veteran of the Smoky Mountains music scene, Country Tonite Theater has launched a brand new show for 2022 featuring a range of fan-favorite music from country classics made famous by country music’s most legendary artists, to gospel and modern patriotic hits. The Country Tonite Theater has hosted classic acts like Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, the Bellamy Brothers, and more.

Pigeon Forge
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
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