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HotChickens.com History

Long before Buffalo Wings. In 1948 when George Morgan moved to Nashville to join WSM's Grand Ole Opry, a friend of his told him about a tiny little restaurant on Charlotte Ave "in the colored section of town" where they served hot, spicy fried chicken.

George became a fan with his first bite.

Skillet fried in lard to a golden crisp, slapped between two white pieces of bread, topped with a few pickle slices, and wrapped in wax paper, the spicy hot chicken from BO'S CHICKEN SHACK became a George Morgan favorite, and soon, a Morgan family tradition.

George loved the taste so well that he had a chemist friend analyze a piece of the chicken and identify the spices used so he could whip up a batch whenever the mood struck... And the mood struck often.

Visiting relatives from Ohio (where George's and his wife's Anna's families both lived) would implore George to make up a batch of his "homemade hot chicken" or pay a visit to BO'S whenever they were in town. Seems like nobody could ever get enough.

It wasn't unusual for George Morgan to place an order for 40 or 50 hot breast sandwiches for a big family gathering. An hour or two later, he would show up with big brown paper grocery bags overflowing with the hot stuff. There was more than one occasion where family arguments would ensue over who got the last piece.

Somewhere in the late 70's, we believe it was, the original Chicken Shack closed. Not long after, two offshoots opened up. Seems, if memory serves correctly, two of Bo's relatives wanted to keep the tradition alive. So, Bolton Polk opened up Columbo's Hot Chicken at the foot of the Shelby Street bridge, on the corner of Fourth Ave South and Shelby Street. Across town, on the corner of Clarksville Highway and Metro Center Blvd, Andre Jeffries opened up a second restaurant named PRINCE'S HOT CHICKEN SHACK.

"It was great for awhile," recalls Lorrie and her family. "We had two places where we could get hot chicken. If one place was too busy or the wait too long, we'd just call our order in to the other one. If that didn't work, we'd just cook up a batch at home."

" The kid's practically 'cut their teeth' on hot chicken" admits Lorrie's Mom, Anna. "They've been eating it since they were all small children. And, they've turned everyone they know on to it, just like George did."

PRINCE'S HOT CHICKEN SHACK survived and flourished and moved to a new location north of town off Dickerson Road, while Columbo's eventually closed it's door's in mid to late 80's , we think as a result of the owner's age and health. "I wish I had a dollar for every piece of hot chicken me and my family ordered from Miss Andre at PRINCE'S. She's always made some of the best chicken you ever put in your mouth, and she still does." , says Lorrie. "I could retire and live off the interest if I had all of that money back."

Probably true. Many a night, the last stop before Lorrie's tour bus left town was PRINCE'S, to load up a few bags of hot chicken for those long road trips where the longing for (actually it's more like a craving) for hot chicken would just make you crazy for the taste.

When Lorrie's brother, Marty moved to Dallas for three years, Lorrie's eldest sister Candy would actually ship him a dozen or so pieces via Greyhound's next bus out service. The Morgan family has always been addicted to the stuff and nothing much has changed.

"My family and I have always talked about opening up our own hot chicken place using Dad's recipe. But nothing ever happened 'til Sammy and I started talking about the possibilities," declares Lorrie. "Today, I think we serve the very best, and the hottest chicken you'll ever sink your teeth into. We go to great pains to make sure it's fresh and served just the way you order it."

"We hung on to Dad's recipe through the years, and by George, no pun intended, if he were alive today, he'd probably be our number one customer, cause nobody loved it more than he did," says Lorrie seriously.

Remember, it all got started when a friend told George about it. So pass it along. That down-home, hot goodness is not something you should keep to yourself.

From the early days of hot chicken, the only thing that's missing is the little metal sign which hung inside the entrance to BO'S which read "NO WHISKEY & NO DANCING" and the sign beside the counter which read, "WHITE'S MUST EAT IN THE KITCHEN". Other than that, the chicken is as good if not better that it ever was, it's still served on top of two pieces of fresh white bread to cool down the heat, with a pile of sliced pickles on top, and a guarantee to put a smile on your face and some sweat on your brow.

So visit soon. AND ENJOY.