Sunday, September 10, 2017

Excellent book of Nashville star stories

I finally got around to posting here and hope to keep it up much more regularly. Getting started after a long absence is difficult. But, alas, here I am.

I'll start my new posts with an usually well-written book by Peter Cooper, published by Spring House Press, Nashville, in 2017. It's titled Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music.

During his working career, Cooper was the country music reporter for Nashville's daily newspaper, The Tennessean. From Amazon:  "Spanning nineteen chapters, Cooper offers an original take on the formative days at WSM and engaging introductions to an ensemble cast of country music’s icons, quirks, and golden-but-hidden personalities. With a gem on every page, Cooper has crafted a perceptive, smiling, and atypical immersion into the world of country music that will keep any music fan engaged with its wit, passion, and authenticity."

I love his opening quote, from Cowboy Jack Clement (1931-2013), staff producer and engineer for Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis. He said, "If I had Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride I wouldn't have a Buck Owen on my car."

During his time at Sun, Clement penned a couple of hits recorded by Johnny Cash: "Ballad of a Teenage Queen," Cash's break-through-to-the-pop-charts record, and "Guess Things Happen That Way."

This is an excellent book of anecdotes, ones I hadn't heard or read before, about names any country/pop fan would know. From those guys who got their start at Sun, including Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others, to today's Taylor Swift. It's priced now at about $12 at Amazon in trade paperback only (Sorry, no Kindle edition available as of now, although I've requested it).

You won't be sorry your started reading this one.