How a small mountain town became a legendary destination for country music

The Pigeon Forge Listening Room

Ole Rouge Gatlinburg

Ole Rouge 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 part of this thriving community, providing an unparalleled experience for guests and songwriters.

— Chris Blair, owner and founder of The Listening Room

PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE, USA, January 17, 2022 / — As live music makes a strong comeback and domestic travel continues to increase, a destination town in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains has quietly become a thriving country music epicenter.

Pigeon Forge, a small town of 6,500 people, was put on the map in 1987 by Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. Growing up on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in neighboring Sevierville County, Dolly sought to bring jobs, entertainment and fun to the community where she grew up. In recent years, the city has become a thriving destination filled with restaurants, shopping, family attractions and, more recently, top country music.

Below are four destinations for country music fans looking to check out this burgeoning music scene.


As a new music experience to emerge in Pigeon Forge, this renowned Nashville venue is renowned for hosting some of the country’s top up-and-coming country songwriters and musicians. Open in the fall, the Pigeon Forge venue offers nightly tours of songwriters from established artists, a lively menu for lunch, brunch and dinner, and the chance to hear new, undiscovered talent.


Another recent addition to the Smoky Mountains music scene, Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant and bar opened in 2019 in nearby Gatlinburg. The famous country music star and coach of the hit TV show “The Voice” brought with him nightly live music, a honky tonk vibe and a dance floor designed for the two-step.


While most visitors are familiar with the iconic Dollywood park, true country music fans gravitate to the Dolly Parton stampede. The fun dinner show offers a combination of live country music, horseback stunts and comedy. Cowboy hats encouraged.


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

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Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
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