Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Paul McCoy

In Search of the Moments

Greil Marcus turns his eye toward the music of Van Morrison

July 26, 2010 Greil Marcus isn’t simply a music critic. He is, as Nick Hornby calls him, “peerless, not only as a rock writer but as a cultural historian.” In Marcus’s writing, music is often the point of departure. Where the vehicle goes from there is anyone’s guess, but you can bet it will be an interesting, often thrilling ride. Marcus’s latest book, When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison, considers the indefinable moments in an enigmatic performer’s work where the artist transcends ordinary communication and reaches for the sublime.

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Queen of Heartbreak

Jimmy McDonough delivers the first full-scale biography of Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen, is the first full-scale biography of the “First Lady of Country Music.” A paradoxical public figure, complex in every way, Wynette’s life mirrored her art—dramatic, spectacular, absurd, and tragic. Jimmy McDonough, bestselling author of Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography, takes the reader as far into Wynette’s world as we can possibly go: from her restless childhood in Mississippi, through her tumultuous years with George Jones, to the botched—and some say, faked—kidnapping in 1978, and finally to her tragic and mysterious final days. McDonough spoke with Chapter 16 in advance of his appearance at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville on March 9, and at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on March 10.

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Not Far from the Tree

Cash biographer Michael Streissguth follows Rosanne as she records a cathartic album

In 1973, Johnny Cash gave his daughter Rosanne a list of 100 songs, many from the Southern tradition, that he thought a young musician was obligated to know. Always Been There tells the inside story of the album that, more than thirty-five years later, she finally made from “the list.” Based on interviews conducted in the studio, at home in New York City, and on tour in Europe, Always Been There chronicles the both the making of an iconic album and the remarkable career of one of popular music’s most gifted singer-songwriters.

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Country's First Elvis

Barry Mazor discusses the musical reach and influence of American icon Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers became known as “The Father of Country Music,” but as Barry Mazor illustrates in his new book, Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, Rodgers was much more than a musical ancestor of The Outlaws. Though his last recording took place over 80 years ago, his influence remains pervasive in popular music and culture. Mazor goes beyond Rodgers’s biography to explain how he changed not just country music but the landscape of popular music as a whole. For Mazor, Jimmie Rodgers isn’t a relic of music history; he’s a modern icon.

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Hello, Legendary Songwriter

Marshall Chapman talks with Chapter 16 about her new book, her new record, and her gig with Garden & Gun

Marshall Chapman is one of Nashville’s most loved and revered singer-songwriters. To date she has released ten critically acclaimed albums and has written songs for a laundry list of country and rock superstars, including Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Wynonna, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Buffett, Crystal Gayle, and Ronnie Milsap, among many others. Her first book, Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller was published in 2003 and was a finalist for both the 2004 SEBA Book Awards and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Her next book, They Came to Nashville, will be released by Vanderbilt University Press in spring 2010.

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