Sunday, December 05, 2010

Why I Chose Memphis: Anna Marie Hartman Birkedahl

Most Memphians will know our next contributor to the Why I Chose Memphis series as "Anna Marie Hartman," the confident and beautiful anchorwoman for WMC Channel 5 News. What you may not know, however, is that when she's not reporting on the best and worst of Memphis, she's also a talented singer in The Burnin' Love Band with her husband, Brad Birkedahl (formerly of rockabilly trio-- and movie stars-- The Dempseys). If you haven't been down to Blues City Cafe on Beale Street to check out Anna in her "other" job, you should make a point to do so! I had the good fortune to end up in my neighbor's living room with Anna, Brad, a couple of other people and several guitars, where we all sat back and did some picking and singing one night. Nights like those, where music lovers share songs and stories for no audience other than themselves, are some of the very best that Memphis has to offer. I was happy to make a couple of new friends in Anna and Brad, who are not only stunningly talented musicians, but genuinely great people. Here's her story:

"I didn't choose Memphis. Memphis chose me and I'm so glad! My now ex-husband and I were living in Atlanta where he worked at the corporate offices of Ford Motor Company and I worked for Georgia Public Broadcasting and WSB Radio. He was transferred to Memphis in 1995. I was resistant to the move at first. Begrudgingly I started looking for a job. Luckily the owner of WMC at the time (Bert Ellis) was based in Atlanta and he was familiar with my work on radio and television there. I landed the gig at WMC. I had no idea that I was entering into the number one news organization in town. With a long legacy and a fantastic group of famous personalities! It wasn't long before Memphis felt like home. Having a musical background I was in awe of its rich musical history. My marriage didn't last but my love for Memphis has only grown stronger year after year. I went on to find the man of my dreams and I'm living my dream. Telling stories on TV by day and singing them on stage at night. Funny thing is, the guy who brought me here moved away years ago...and me....I'm still here!"

Want to share your Why I Chose Memphis story? Send it to me here.

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