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Published on June 19, 2024
Nashville Mourns the Loss of Beloved "Tennessee Crossroads" Host Joe Elmore at 80Source: Unsplash/ Mike Labrum

Joe Elmore, a prominent figure in public television and the long-time host of "Tennessee Crossroads," died Monday after a long illness. Elmore, who was 80, was seen as a symbol of Tennessee's spirit, guiding viewers through the small towns and unseen nooks of the state for 37 years. Nashville Public Television confirmed his death and committed to continuing the show in his honor, stating that "Tennessee Crossroads" is not just a program but also a legacy Elmore leaves behind, WKRN News 2 reported.

Known for his personable nature and dedication to his craft, Elmore joined the "Tennessee Crossroads" team at its inception in 1987 shaping, the show's direction and becoming a beloved figure across the Volunteer State; he managed to capture the unique character and charm of Tennessee through his stories. The Tennessean shared reactions from Elmore's colleagues, including standing testimony from Nashville broadcaster Laura Faber, who described him as "a comfortable soul, always professional and kind, and the best storyteller."

In the wake of Elmore's passing, Nashville Public Television stated, "We have lost a legend and a dear friend. We’ll miss his phenomenal skills, his kind-heartedness, and his wonderful sense of humor," as relayed by executive producer Ed Jones. This sentiment echoes throughout the community, which viewed Elmore not just as a host but as a true representative of Tennessee's inviting nature. WSMV added that the 38th season of "Tennessee Crossroads" is set to air soon, honoring Elmore's commitment to the show he nurtured for so long.

Respect and fond anecdotes have poured in from those who knew Elmore; Bob Mueller, Nashville's longest-running television personality, noted him as "a legend in local broadcasting," while Miranda Cohen, formerly of Fox 17, shared how Elmore's presence at fundraising events would light up the room and that fans were always eager to see him, according to an interview with The Tennessean. In a fitting tribute to Elmore's legacy, NPT is set to air a special Tennessee Crossroads episode honoring him on Thursday, July 25, at 7 p.m., assuring fans and patrons that his spirit will live on within the heartbeats of the roads he so cherished, and the paths less ventured he so adored taking us, the viewers, along for the ride.