Meet William M. "Bill" Jarnigan, a Professional Music Historian in Florence, Alabama
Bill Jarnigan is an author and professional music historian living in Florence, one of four cities (with Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia) comprising the Muscle Shoals region of Alabama. For more than 30 years, he has written articles and syndicated columns about the music of Muscle Shoals, country music, gospel music and Alabama at large. He is working on several music history books about Muscle Shoals and southern gospel and Alabama musics. He also writes about the University of North Alabama, the Civil War in the Tennessee Valley and other topics. He has written for The Birmingham News, co-owned a newspaper, written for national and regional magazines and done air work for radio and television. Bill founded and edited the UNA Magazine.
Jarnigan coordinated a Sam Phillips celebrity roast, and wrote and emceed seven awards shows for the George Lindsey Film Festival. He wrote numerous scripts for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame induction banquet and awards shows. Bill worked on programs and shows in some capacity with many entertainment personalities including Ernest Borgnine, Willard Scott, Joan Lunden, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Ray Stevens, Stephen Root, Ralph Emery, George Lindsey, Ruth Buzzi, Shenandoah, Billy Swan, Rufus Thomas, Lucas Black and many others. He has also interviewed many more.
As the director of university relations for the University of North Alabama, Jarnigan handled media interaction for National Geographic Society president Gil Grosvenor; singer/actor Kris Kristofferson; ambassador Andrew Young; U. S. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Larry Pressler; authors Ray Bradbury and Peter Jenkins; White House chief of staff James Baker; attorney/actor/presidential candidate Fred Thompson; and numerous others. He has arranged appearances and interviews for people on the Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), Nashville Now (Nashville Network) and Crook & Chase (TNN).
His photographs have been published by People, Country Music, Jubilation and other magazines; in a George Jones biography; in an Arthur Alexander biography; in a BellSouth phone book; and in numerous other publications.
Jarnigan was appointed by governors to the Alabama Film Commission and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He served on the Alabama Folklife Association board of directors. He founded the Northwest Alabama Film Advisory Board and compiled a scouting/production directory for the area. He was co-founder of the George Lindsey Film Festival. He also served as a stage emcee for the first ten years of City Stages in Birmingham and for three years at the Jubilee CityFest in Montgomery.
Jarnigan served as the executive director of the Muscle Shoals Music Association prior to serving as the director of university relations for the University of North Alabama. For his work exploring music, Jarnigan was presented a media award by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.