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Writer Ken Beck refreshes ‘Terrific Tennessee’


Longtime Tennessee storyteller and journalist Ken Beck, who spent 31 years as an entertainment, feature and travel writer for The Nashville Tennessean and the past 14 years contributing stories to Middle Tennessee community newspapers such as The Smithville Review,  has completed a major revision of his 1995 book, Terrific Tennessee.


The 128-page book shares 500 fascinating facts about the people, places and unique attractions that have made Tennessee a wonderful place to live and explore.


Terrific Tennessee contains tantalizing trivia and provides a reliable resource for learning fun stuff about the state. No matter if you’re a native or a tourist, you’ll enjoy this treasure chest filled with hundreds of details reflecting Tennessee history, famous sons and daughters, festivals, quirky trivia and much more. The book also features 16 photographs highlighting special places in the Volunteer State that are must-see sites and makes an ideal gift for Tennesseans of all ages. 


Terrific Tennessee is available online at for $12, plus $3.50 for postage.


Beck was born in Murfreesboro, a fifth-generation Tennessean. He was a teacher and coach for three years at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon before joining The Tennessean in 1977, where he edited the paper’s Sunday Showcase entertainment magazine for 25 years. During that time he interviewed hundreds of film, music and TV celebrities and penned a weekly “Ask Ken Beck” trivia column where he answered more than 13,000 questions from readers about their favorite actors, musicians, TV shows and movies.


He and writing partner Jim Clark have partnered on numerous books, nearly a dozen related to their favorite TV show, The Andy Griffith Show, including such titles as The Andy Griffith Show Book, Mayberry Memories and Goober in a Nutshell. They also compiled three Mayberry cookbooks, including the million-selling Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook and other best-sellers like The All-American Cowboy Cookbook, Granny’s Beverly Hillbillies Cookbook, The All-American Truck Stop Cookbook, The Amazing, Colossal Book of Horror Trivia and Walking On (about the life of legendary Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser as told by his daughter). From 2009 until 2015, Beck was a regular contributor to American Profile magazine, which went into millions of homes across the U.S. weekly.


For the past 14 years, Beck has been a freelance feature writer working with community newspapers in Smithville, Woodbury, Carthage, Lebanon and Murfreesboro as he profiles ordinary Tennesseans who have extraordinary stories to share. He has been blessed to be able to travel the state extensively discovering wonderful people, places, and things that define the Volunteer State.