‘Tennessee Waltz’ manuscript given to UT center

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A group including U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and his wife, Honey, have donated the original manuscript of the “Tennessee Waltz” song to the new Natalie L. Haslam Music Center at the University of Tennessee.

The song was written on the back of a large matchbox by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart in 1946 while they were travelling back to Nashville from a show in Texas. Upon their arrival they transferred the song from the matchbox to a sheet of music

The Alexanders and three other couples bought what is known as the “lead sheet” in August. The song later made famous by Patti Page has been recorded by more than 500 musical artists and has sold more than 10 million copies. It is also one of Tennessee’s state songs.