Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Not Your Father's Tennessee Vols

In On Rocky Top, Nashville sportswriter Clay Travis turns UT football’s worst season into a study of contemporary college athletics

When Clay Travis got a book deal to cover the 2008 University of Tennessee football team, he had no idea he was about to witness the worst season in the program’s 110-year history. The hapless Volunteers won only one of six Southeastern Conference matchups during their twelve-game schedule, which also saw the firing of coaching legend Phil Fulmer. For Travis, a lifetime UT fan, the losses resonated far beyond the arches of Neyland Stadium, the Vols’ home. On Rocky Top channels Travis’s disappointment into a riveting analysis of what’s at stake in the increasingly mercenary world of college athletics.

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Finding the Energy to Move

Amanda Little traces the origins of America’s oil dependence—and investigates options for the future

Amanda Little has been doing some traveling. After the great northeast blackout of August 2003, the Nashville environmental journalist decided that she wanted to learn the nuts and bolts—or, more appropriately, the barrels and watts—of America’s energy infrastructure. She investigates the ways in which energy shapes our lives and considers possible options for the future, now that our addiction to fossil fuels is becoming untenable. The result is Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells—A Ride to Our Renewable Future.

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Happiness is a Sad Song

Dr. Ralph Stanley discusses his 63 years in music

When he was a child, he was often called “the boy with the hundred year old voice.” At 82 years old, Dr. Ralph Stanley remains younger than the sound of his singing and continues to travel the world performing for capacity crowds. In his new book, Man of Constant Sorrow, Stanley recounts a career spanning six decades and millions of miles.

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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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Best Music Writing 2009

Best Music Writing 2009

Best Music Writing 2009

Edited by Greil Marcus
Da Capo Press
364 pages
$15.95

“I met Jerry Wexler in New York City on Dec. 11, 1967, the day after Otis Redding had died. A self-described “vehement Jewish atheist,” he might have called our encounter a mitzvah. For me, plunged into despair and confusion, after being in the studio with Otis all the previous week, at Stax Records in Memphis, Tenn., as he recorded “Dock of the Bay,” it was nothing short of a miracle. Indeed, our meeting saved my life, as Jerry was to do, over and over, in the 40-plus years of our friendship.”

Stanley Booth, in “My Mentor, My Teacher” from Best Music Writing 2009

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times

Written and edited by Sarah L. Wilkerson Freeman, Edited by Beverly Greene Bond
University of Georgia Press
456 pages
$24.95

“By focusing on the lives of individual women, known and unknown, over many years, this volume is an important addition to the history of Tennessee and the evolving history of southern women.”

Anne Firor Scott, editor of Pauli Murray and Caroline Ware: Forty Years of Letters in Black and White