Feature Reporter

Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990. Contact Terry if you have an interesting community story for him to cover.

In Music City, nobody gets to the front of the stage without years of practice and probably years of music lessons.

The teachers never get the glory, but the musician never forgets how it all started. And for many in Nashville, it started with Shannon Williford.

Williford came from Mississippi to Nashville to play music, and he did for years. The blues sound his harmonica makes has won him awards and the chance to play with the best.

But his legacy will be as a teacher and how he's found a way to keep that music alive.

The sound of the low-down blues has always made Williford happy. It's even better when he's playing it with musicians who once came to him for lessons at Centennial Park.

Shannon helped them write songs.

Laura Williams came to Shannon at 11, she's 27 now and a professional musician.

"I give all the credit to this guy..."

So does Lars Thorson, now a touring musician with one of Nashville's top bluegrass bands, with an emphasis on blues straight from Shannon.

"His effect on this town and the blues scene has been huge."

Anyone in this town knows Williford, he's been part of keeping the blues alive.

Teaching guitar lessons and life lessons, seeing and hearing the success he made happen.

"One of the things I really enjoy is to be able to play on their records."

Amazing, for the Bayou boy now heading back home. Shannon is leaving Nashville to head back to his Louisiana-Mississippi roots. He asked us to credit his teaching partner Sam Frazee, just one more scoop of proof of Shannon's sharing and caring life.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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