County Seat: Maynardville
In the 1940s and 1950s few Americans were better known than Roy Acuff, a native of Maynardville. He started off as a baseball player, but then an injury cut short his career and he began playing the fiddle. In 1934 Acuff started going on hillbilly radio shows on stations such as WSM in Nashville (the home of the Grand Ole Opry). With the release of songs such as The Great Speckled Bird and The Wabash Cannonball he became nationally famous. And, with a great sense of humor, Acuff eventually became the host of the Grand Ole Opry.
The Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s. Acuff is on the right.
PHOTO: Country Music Foundation
Acuff was so popular during World War II that Japanese troops charging at Okinawa were reportedly yelling, “To hell with Roosevelt, to hell with Babe Ruth, to hell with Roy Acuff.”
For more on Roy Acuff, click here.
Oakdale School near Loyston, an area now under Norris Lake
And here's another tidbit about Union County. When man-made lakes were created by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, many communities were flooded (see, for instance, the Clay
County pages). In Union County, the town of Loyston was flooded by Norris Lake. It was moved and is now known as New Loyston.
Here's a photo of the Union County Courthouse in Maynardville.