The song's 1967 creation came during downtime at the downtown Gatlinburg hotel, where the Bryants stayed while writing songs for comedian Archie Campbell's album The Golden Years. After breaking the monotony of their Great Smoky Mountains getaway, Boudleax reportedly looked at Felice and asked, "Can we get back to work now?"
Room 388 is one of several claims to fame at the Gatlinburg Inn. Since 1937, the hotel located near such attractions as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has provided the front desk with quite a few stories to tell at check-in and several guest rooms with ties to presidents, actors and country stars.
"After World War II, the Smokies became the most visited national park, and The Historic Gatlinburg Inn became a favorite 'home away from home' for visitors from all over the country, including many leaders in business, government and the entertainment world, including Lady Bird Johnson, J.C. Penney, Dinah Shore, Liberace and Tennessee Ernie Ford," reads the historic hotel's website.
Amenities mix rocking chairs on the famous front porch where celebrities once enjoyed cool mountain breezes with the expected modern conveniences., including an outdoor pool, free wifi and free breakfasts.
The Rocky Top Room's also a mix of kitschy charm and updated amenities. Per the Inn's website, "Although new carpets, draperies and bedding have been updated, this one of a kind suite is just as it was when Felice and Boudleaux Bryant penned the famous song over 50 years ago! Tastefully appointed this suite features two double beds, 42" flat screen TV, refrigerator/microwave, coffee maker, iron and ironing board and private balcony."
Visitors staying at perhaps the best hotel Gatlinburg has to offer (755 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tn 37738) will be walking distance from the Sugarlands moonshine distillery, the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, the Gatlinburg Space Needle and Ripley's Aquarium. You'll also be a short drive from Pigeon Forge, the home of Dollywood, as well as the McGhee Tyson Airport in Alcoa, Tenn.
Contact the Gatlinburg Inn for room availability and information on their social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. On that note, this could be a worthwhile hour-drive destination on a Tennessee Vols football weekend during a season without tailgating.