You may know us as "those dancers that practice on the Franklin square on Sundays". You may have seen us at various places around Nashville doing shows here and there, but what is the real story behind Rocky Top Revue?
In the late 1970s, Tommy Jackson and several other dancers formed a square dance team called The Silver Dollar Ramblers, and booked shows in hotels around Nashville. After a couple of years that team split up and went separate ways. Tommy Jackson and some of the remaining members formed Rocky Top Revue in 1982. Throughout the 1980s, Rocky Top Revue danced at local bluegrass festivals and soon became one of the most competitive teams in the Middle Tennessee area. People began to take note that there was an extra entertainment factor with this group and started hiring them for shows and parties. The team, based out of Franklin, TN, also took an active role in the community and always participated in local events and showcases.
Around 1991, Tommy noticed a serious decrease in the number of teams that were competing at festivals. This caused him to start thinking about teaching kids and educating them on this dying art form, and the true mission of Rocky Top Revue was founded. He formed the first youth square dance team, with the hope that they would want to dance with Rocky Top Revue one day. Cheekily he called them Little Rock Preview. As those kids started to grow up and he started teaching more kids, he added another team called Harpeth River. Since the mid 1990s, there has always been at least 3 competitive teams associated with Rocky Top Revue. Having always been proud to be from Franklin, TN, most of the names used for the teams have ties to Williamson County.
Today, we carry five square dance teams on any given competition weekend, Rocky Top Revue, Jackson Hollow, Little Texas, Little Harpeth, and the Hoe-si-dos. Our lessons and practices are always free and mostly take place open to the public in Downtown Franklin. We will take as many dancers from the community as we can handle with our limited volunteers.
We have been fortunate to be asked to dance on many prestigious stages over the years including the Super Dome (Sugar Bowl 1998), Gaylord Opryland, The Ryman Auditorium, The Dove Awards and the Grand Ole Opry. There have been music videos (Greater, Mercy Me; Tennessee Flat Top Box, Rosanne Cash), private events and fundraisers too numerous to mention.
Over the years, a lot of kids have grown up and left Rocky Top Revue, but we always remain a close knit family. Many still have an active role in playing music, educating other kids about this unique Middle Tennessee dance style, and carrying on the bluegrass festivals we all love so much. You will even find a few of them any given Saturday night performing on the Grand Ole Opry with the Opry Square Dancers.
Thank you to you, our fans and audiences, for letting us entertain you for over 4 decades. We love to share our joy of dance with all of you. Finally, to answer to the question we get all the time: Yes! We really do have that much fun on stage.