Banana Pudding Fest Oct 2013

In Nearby Centerville, TN, about 25 minutes from the Commodore Hotel

Come join us on Oct. 5, 2013 for the 4th AnnualNational Banana Pudding Festival and Cook-off, celebrating the ultimate comfort food, banana pudding. The National Banana Pudding Festival near Grinder’s Switch Rail Station, the inspiration for Minnie Pearl’s fictitious town.  Sarah Cannon, aka Minnie Pearl was born and raised on the Duck River across from Grinder’s Switch in Hickman County TN.  This year help us celebrate Minnie Pearl’s 100th birthday!

The Banana Pudding Festival is the brain child of twelve local Red Cross volunteers seeking a way to earn money to cover the costs of helping victims of disasters, fires, tornadoes and floods.  In September 2009 this fun lovin’ dozen incorporated the National Banana Pudding Festival as a non-profit corporation and set about bringing the dream to reality.

This one-day event will include, in addition to a national cook-off for the best banana pudding in America, two stages with entertainment, a children’s area, food and craft booths, and the Puddin’ Path where you can sample lots of banana puddin’ and so much more.

October 5, 2013 – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

October 6, 2013 – 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

$5 admission each day school age & up

Parking is free

Puddin’ Path $3 per person

Centerville River Park & Jerry Dixon Walking Trail
Centerville, TN 37033

2 Stages of Entertainment

Fun Activities for the kids

Arts and Crafts

National Banana Pudding Cook-Off  in front of a live audience

National Banana Pudding Cook Off Auction

Puddin’ Path – sample 8 different puddings made by local nonprofits and oh how good!

Lots of really good Southern comfort food

Come taste the sweetness!

Waking Up in October

Out of all the “awareness months”, don’t people seem to be the most aware of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month?  Is it all the fundraising walks, or perhaps all those NFL players wearing hot pink shoes and gloves?

I count myself lucky that I wasn’t close with anyone who had breast cancer – or even cancer in general – until my mom was diagnosed with, and passed away from angiosarcoma – a rare blood cancer – in late 2011.

Since then, I feel as if I’m aware of every time the word “cancer” appears -anywhere.  All of a sudden, it seemed like every other person I knew either had cancer and beat it, or had a close family member suffer from it.   Our Chef, Michael’s wife succumbed to breast cancer many years ago (he has since re-married).  Even Sarah Cannon, whose beloved Minnie Pearl character is immortalized by a bronze statue in the hotel, had breast cancer.

Experiencing that fear and dread stirs emotions and a deep inner drive for survival.  We are no longer passive members of the: “that- won’t- happen- to- me” club.   It causes us to view life differently.  Carpe diem – “Seize the day”.


What is that thing you always wanted to do?  How about something on your bucket list? (Do you even have a bucket list?)  One thing I always wanted to do was: sleep on the ground near a campfire – just like the old cowboys – or going back further in time – cave people did.  This time of year is perfect weather for that: cool nights, often clear skies.  Here in the country you can see millions of stars…it’s mesmerizing.  It puts me in awe.  I should take my own advice and “seize the night”, waking up next to my smoldering fire.  So maybe I’ll get poked by a few mosquitoes, or worst case – bitten by a snake.  That pain pales in comparison to cancer’s pain.

What will you do this month that puts you in awe?



Billy Kay debuts at the Commodore Fri Sept 27

Billy is an American Vet living in Clifton, TN.  A talented and well-known musician, Billy performs solo-acoustic of both originals and country, classic rock and standards covers.  When he first performed for Kathy at the Commodore, his first song was “If I Only Had A Brain” from the Wizard of Oz.  Unique!  Then he played a Beatles tune, I think a Merle Haggard song, then Elton John, and another classic country song. He even asked us to sing along with him on one of the songs!  It was fun!  

He donates all proceeds from his online sales to charity. He organized the “Country for a Cause” CD. He’s currently traveling America on his “Abject Poverty Tour”.


Billy started the accordion at age 5. Knowing it would be impossible to “pick up women” with an accordion, he convinced his mom to let him switch to guitar at 7. And his guitar has been his constant companion for 4 decades.

He went public with his songs 3 years ago, and he’s been played all over the world. He was the most downloaded person in Las Vegas. People make videos of themselves dancing to his songs from Asia to Denmark!

Billy writes from the heart. “I write what I see” says Billy. “I lack the ability to make stuff up. So if I see hurt or joy in someone, I extrapolate how they got to that point.”

His latest release, “When You Hold Me Tight”, was recorded in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Florida. “All my favorite performers” play on it” states Billy. It was a labor of love – and a blast – to record!

As long as people keep listening, I’ll keep writing. And I get to tell people about those less fortunate then themselves in the process. Of all the directions my life could have taken, I consider myself blessed.

Billy Kay grew up on Long Island, New York. He started with the accordion at age 5. He switched to guitar at age 7.  CLICK the links below to read more and hear Billy’s music!

Last of a Dying Breed, Richard Lynch plays at the Commodore

For over 30 years, Richard Lynch has been sharing his love & passion for traditional country music. – Lynch got the itch for country music as a young farm boy from his father, Woody Lynch, who taught him how to pick a guitar, sing & appreciate a good country music audience at a very young age

Lynch got his first “paying gig” at the age of 15 & grew from there, playing over 300 nights a year at countless clubs, fairs, festivals & other venues throughout the 80s & 90s, when he toured as Richard Lynch and the Renegade Band,

Richard determined his non-compromising performance standard by being honored to share the stage or be the opening act during the 80s and 90s   for such well known country artists as:

John Conley, John Anderson, the Bellamy Brothers, Eddie Rabbit, Keith Whitley, Confederate Railroad, David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck, Shenandoah, Shelby Lynn, Hank Williams III and others.

Recently, Lynch has founded The Keepin It Country Farm, a music venue in a 1860s antique barn at his farm in Waynesville, OH. The Keepin it Country  Farm was the home of The Ohio Hayride in 2010, a live radio broadcast from the barn on 2 local radio stations.   The Ohio Hayride broadcasts included traditional country artists: TG Sheppard, Helen Cornelius, Lulu Roman, Michael Twitty & T Graham Brown  backed up by the Richard Lynch Band.  In the past couple of years, Richard has also had the privilege of playing his music with country hitmakers: David Ball, Jimmy Fortune & David Frizzell

Richard Lynch is determined to stay true to his roots by carrying on his family tradition & performing the Last of a Dying Breed tour for his fellow country music lovers of this great nation

Elvis Dinner Show – November 15-16, 2013

Elvis Presley and Country Legends Dinner Show

“wise men say… only fools rush in…”  You can’t help falling in love with Elvis Presley, whether it’s for his music, his generous spirit, or his ambition to “rise above” and follow his dream.

Re-live the excitement and aura of this iconic, magnetic personality, as brought to life by singer Doug Thompson, not in Vegas, but in little Linden, about halfway between

Doug Thompson performs Elvis show at Commodore Linden

Nashville and Memphis.  The historic Commodore Hotel & Café hosts this show in their intimate, 40-seat restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a fresh, creative menu prepared by Executive Chef Michael Grauer.  The Commodore has been pioneering championing the arts since their opening in 2007, including  displays of paintings, photography, live music, and even dinner theater shows. Hotel owner Kathy Dumont is a frustrated  (closet) artist herself, who has sung professionally and appreciated art all over the country.  However, she found her soul in the ridges, hollows and caves of this tiny town in Middle Tennessee, which she and her husband discovered eight years ago.  “We came onto the property, looked at each other, and said, ‘this is it’.”  A few years later, a restoration project turned into a real (serious) business with their purchase of the dilapidated, 1939 brick building in the center of this sleepy four-block town. A renaissance has been happening ever since, and Kathy is in her glory.  “I love meeting people from all over the world, and feeling their stories.  It’s amazing the variety of people we have met in this place.”

One of these characters is Billy Poore, Rock-a-billy Music Hall-of-Famer, author, and friend of Elvis Presley.  They gravitated toward each other as musicians who believe in the power and joy of music.  We said, “why don’t we have a show here?”  Billy talked to some people he knew, and here we are:  annual Elvis Dinner Shows that pack the place and deliver memorable performances for both the audience and the performers.

Poore visits Memphis for Elvis Week every August, and this year he met Tribute Artist Doug Thompson during that week.  Poore then contacted Commodore Hotel owner Kathy Dumont to arrange a show.  “This guy is the real deal,” remarked Poore, regarding Thompson and his show.

Not only will Thompson perform Elvis tunes, he will start with a Tribute to Country Legends, such as George Jones, Conway Twitty, and Gene Watson.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is Thompson’s current home, where he works and performs at the Elvis Museum on the parkway. Doug “made his mark” as a professional singer and tribute artist in his home state of Georgia. He began singing in church, and “as early as kindergarten,” he began to perform his rendition of Elvis music. Doug is a talented artist and has widely performed in Georgia and Tennessee, and is looking forward to performing at the Commodore.  Doug’s performance promises to hold you captive with his sentimental tunes and amazing energy as he “rocks” your night at the Commodore Cafe.

The Commodore is planning a varied menu of entrees and desserts that you will be sure to enjoy! While you dine in the romantic surroundings, Elvis will be singing some of your favorite tunes so you can get lost in the moment. But we can’t forget what Elvis was famous for – so be ready for your inner teenager to be revived!

You will love the atmosphere at Commodore Linden, with genuinely friendly and helpful folks in addition to amazing, freshly prepared food.  The Commodore Hotel  and Cafe has been in business in Linden for some time and strives to offer the best service and entertainment to the community and surrounding area.

We hope you will make plans to visit us on November the 15th and 16th. The inviting hotel accommodations will make you feel at home. So plan on spending the night, or two, and enjoy the show, the food, the beautiful, historical hotel, along with the beautiful autumn days that are awaiting you in Linden, Tennessee.

FREE DESSERT Friday with Cat Country Radio

FREE DESSERT Friday night at the Commodore!!  The first 20 people who mention they saw this online will get a FREE DESSERT*  Friday night, September 20, 2013 during Cat Country’s Live Radio Broadcast, “Country at the Café”  starting at 6pm.  Courtesy of Randall Cloyd.  

Musician Rick Hines will sing and play some of your favorite country, gospel, and oldies tunes, while you enjoy a freshly prepared meal by Chef Michael and the Commodore crew.  Randall Cloyd, a local Cat Country and Commodore fan, has offered to buy DESSERT* for the first 20 folks who mention “I saw the FREE DESSERT deal online” (on our website or facebook) OR “I heard it on Cat Country A.M. 1570”!

“Country at the Café” will be broadcast from the Commodore Hotel & Café on Main Street in Downtown Linden.  DJ Chris Lash, of Whiplash Radio, and musician Rick Hines will put smiles on your faces and warmth in your hearts!  And the Commodore will put yummies in your tummies!   The show starts at 6pm, and will run until about 7:30pm (the Café stays open and music continues ‘til 9pm).  The “Country at the Cafe” show will be every third (3rd) Friday of the month.

*Free Dessert is available with purchase of $7.99 or more.

Come out and join the fun, get some grub, and top it off with a sweet something to set the evening off RIGHT!

The Commodore always features special appetizers on weekends, like Crab Cakes and Chef’s Flatbread Pizza, plus Fish specials, Vegetarian specials, and our menu:

Shop Oktoberfest in Hohenwald and Stay at Commodore

Oktober Heritage Festival in nearby Hohenwald, TN is October 11 & 12, 2013.

Hohenwald is only 15-20 minutes from Linden and the Commodore Hotel.  Click HERE to check for a room reservation at the hip, historic Commodore Hotel (not a plain, concrete box hotel!).  Our friendly staff and fantastic food await you!

flyer for Hohenwald Oktoberfest


Commodore Perry Bicentennial Celebration!

September 10th, 2013, is the 200-year anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, which was Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous victory over the British navy.  It was this battle that made him a national hero in our fledgling nation, and prompted over twenty-five cities and counties across the U.S. to be named after him.  Perry County, of course, is one of them.

Perry has a Quarter and Stamp honoring his victory

The Commodore Hotel & Café in downtown Linden, is also named for Perry.   “It was an obvious choice to name the hotel after this War of 1812 hero from Rhode Island,” says Kathy Dumont, hotel owner, “since we are also from Rhode Island.  We feel doubly connected to Perry.”   To further honor Perry, the hotel displays two special flags over the entrance:  One is the famous flag he carried in his victorious Battle of Lake Erie that said “Don’t Give Up the Ship”, and the other is the United States Flag from that year, which had only fifteen stars and stripes.  The 15-Stars & Stripes flag is also referred to as “the Star-Spangled Banner”, since this is the version of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the tune that later became the U.S. National Anthem.

A misconception about the “Don’t Give up the Ship” flag is that Perry coined this phrase.  This is not the case!  His good friend, Captain James Lawrence,  shouted this battle cry a few months earlier, during a fight between Lawrence’s frigate, the USS Chesapeake,  versus the British HMSShannon in early June 1813.   Lawrence had been mortally wounded, and called to his men “don’t give up the ship”!   Perry was devastated by the loss of his good friend, and approved the making of a flag to honor his comrade.   In July, 1813, Margaret Forster Stewart (1780–1835), her three daughters, her sister Dorcas Forster Bell, her two daughters, and a cousin took on the task of sewing this iconic flag, in the Stewart’s log house in the village of Erie.

The flag was first flown on September 10th, 1813, on the battleship named for Captain Lawrence.  As described by John Miller, author of A Twentieth Century History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, published in 1909 by the Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago. “Captain Perry having called the crew about him elevated the burgee, exclaiming, ‘My brave lads, this flag contains the last words of Captain Lawrence! Shall I hoist it?’ ‘Ay, ay, ay, sir!’ resounded from every voice on the ship, and the flag was swayed to the main-royal masthead. As the flag unfurled and became visible to other crews, hearty and enthusiastic cheers responded through the line.”

The Commodore Hotel & Café is celebrating the Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie by:

  • Showing a slide show history of Perry, the man, and Perry County, complete with commentary from local historian, Jessie Ruth Tiller.
  • Serving Rhode Island Clam Chowder and Dynamites (another famous Rhode Island food specialty) the week of September 10th- 14th.

The Commodore is open to the public 8am-9pm daily.  For more information, call (931)589-3224, or email  Commodore Hotel & Café, 114 East Main Street, Linden, TN.

Mystery Dinner Theater at the Commodore 2013

Mystery, Murder, and More at the Commodore

Did you know Deputy Barney Fife had a sister?  Meet her, plus several other unforgettable characters as the Commodore Hotel and Cafe and the Buffalo River Theatrical Group partner once again for Mystery Dinner Theater in downtown Linden. The comedic mystery is titled Without a Clue – A Murder Mystery, and you are invited to attend the live performances scheduled for November 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th  at the Commodore Cafe. The actors and actresses that will be performing the play are your local, talented neighbors!

 Troy Duncan will be portraying Inspector Hemlock Poem, and a host of other talented actors and actresses will be gracing the stage with their comedic talent that is sure to present you with a delightful evening! Tammy Duncan and Kelsey Starbuck will portray, none other than, Laverne and Shirley, and the play’s intended interaction with the audience will keep you laughing. You will also be encouraged to help solve the mystery with clues being given throughout the performance. The play will be narrated by “The Mann,” Mike Thorne. Mike is also the director of the play and will be your host to help you with seating. The other actors that will be performing are Addy Skelton as the “Electric Judge.” You will want to come watch the show to find out how she earned that nickname. Deputy Betty Fife (Barney’s sister) will be portrayed by Chelsea Doyle and Deputy-In-Training is Gracie Cruise. According to Tony Duncan, Deputy Betty holds the record for three hundred and sixty-five citations that she has written. Dr. Datsun will be performed by Traver Duncan, and Tony Duncan will portray the Reverend Hamilton Beach who likes to “spiritually grow hair.” We can’t leave out our “Unsuspecting Litterbug” either, who will be portrayed by Adam Skelton.

The Buffalo River Theatrical Group started three years ago and has continued to grow and become a feature of the community. They plan to expand into the community and want to invite everyone that has any type of talent to get involved with the group! They are not only planning to offer more plays, but they want to be a medium for  anyone to come and showcase their talent; whether that talent is singing, playing an instrument, painting, quilting, crafting; any talent that you may possess. It does not matter how old or how young you are! If you always wanted to explore your talent, then The Buffalo River Theatrical Group wants to help promote your talent! You can also help the group by assisting them in fund raising. They are planning to purchase a building so that everyone in the community will have a place to go for fun and relaxation!

The Commodore Hotel and Cafe is happy to host the dinner shows once again.  “Supporting local theater is important to us,” says Kathy Dumont, hotel owner.  “Being involved in theater when I was growing up gave me more self-confidence.  It also left me with an appreciation of actors and the hard work and dedication it takes to put on a quality production.  In a way, I feel like this is my way of ‘paying it forward’, by supporting local theater – especially since drama classes aren’t available in school.”  Dumont adds, “Tony and Tammy Duncan are tireless supporters and terrific actors and leaders of the B.R.T.G. We – all of us in the county – are lucky to have them.”

The play promises to offer up a plate of mystery and intrigue, to go along with the plate of very special Beef, Salmon, or Vegetarian dinners the Cafe will offer those nights, along with salad, drink and dessert.  If you enjoy the performance of the play on the first weekend and think you would like to come back for the following weekend; you are encouraged to do so since each night of the performance offers a different ending.

Nights of laughter, mystery, and great food await you – without having to travel hours to Jackson or Nashville.  We hope you will come out and support the efforts of the Buffalo River Theatrical Group on November 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2013.  Tickets are $32 per person, including three-course dinner and the show. Reservations may be made by calling the Commodore at (931) 589-3224, or in person at 114 East Main Street, Linden.