Clarksville Connections

Clarksville Connections is an ongoing project to share the stories of historically significant people who have a Clarksville connection. We invite your input. Please email your information and ideas to


Roy AcuffRoy Acuff

King of Country Music

Roy Acuff's affiliation with Clarksville began in 1948, when he purchased Dunbar Cave and its surrounding land. He built an 18-hole golf course, that is now the Swan Lake Golf Course. Roy attracted people to the area by hosting live shows within the cave itself. With its cool temperatures -- even in the summertime -- and great acoustics, the cave became a gathering place for many residents during the big band era.


Phila HachPhila Hach

Celebrity Chef & Author

Phila Hach was a woman ahead of her time. She created the first in-flight catering manual for the airline industry. She was the first woman to host a television show in the southern U.S. She worked as a flight attendant, television celebrity chef, cookbook author, restauranteur, innkeeper and catering chef. Oh, the stories she could tell! She was petite in frame, yet highly intelligent, quick-witted and a mighty force to be reckoned with. 


Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix


Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter whose career spanned only four years. Still, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.” What you may not know is that Jimi started playing professional gigs here in Clarksville. He made connections here that led him to Nashville, where he shortly became the world's highest-paid performer. 


Big Jay McNeelyBig Jay McNeely

b. 1927

Clarksville was silent in 1950 when Cecil James “Big Jay” McNeely, the king of the honking tenor saxophone himself, was playing a show for the town in 1950. Eager for a reaction from the crowd, he came back from the show’s intermission playing while on his knees, and the crowd went wild. From then on, Big Jay McNeely and his tenor saxophone earned an unparalleled reputation by incorporating never-before-seen over-the-top energy into his sets, going as far as leading audiences down the streets of San Diego.


Rachel SmithRachel Smith

Miss USA 2007
1985 -

Rachel Renee Smith was born at a United States Army base in Panama, where her parents were stationed, on April 18, 1985. Shortly after, her family was stationed to Ft. Campbell, and made their home in Clarksville. Rachel was interested in modeling and television throughout her early childhood and began modeling when she was eight years old. In 2002, Rachel won the title of Miss Tennessee Teen, and in 2007 she was crowned Miss USA.