Beth Slater Whitson
Songwriter Beth Slater Whitson was born in Goodrich, Hickman County, in 1879. Her parents were John H. Whitson and Anna Slater Whitson; her father was coeditor of the Hickman Pioneer newspaper. Beth Whitson began her extensive songwriting career in Hickman County. With the assistance of her younger sister Alice Whitson Norton, she composed lyrics to over four hundred songs and wrote poems and short stories, many of which were published in leading magazines of the early twentieth century. Her first major hit was “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland” in 1909; it was followed the next year by “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” which is still performed today.
In 1913 Whitson and her sister Alice moved to Nashville, where they continued to write and publish. Her local biographer, Grace Baxter Thompson, remarked at the dedication of a state historical marker to Whitson’s career in 1978: “She gave beauty and color and enjoyment to her community from which those qualities have been far-reaching and long-lasting.” (1) Beth Slater Whitson died in 1930 and is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashville.