Rodney Crowell’s new memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks, (Knopf) offers a look at his childhood and his parent’s often rocky marriage, set against the backdrop of 1950’s Houston, Texas.
Crowell, the only child of a hard-drinking father and a Holy Roller mother, shares wild anecdotes such as the time he broke up his parents’ raucous New Year’s Eve party with gunfire, and when he ended their fight at the local drive-in by smashing a glass soda bottle over his own head. The book is described as an exploration of his parent’s troubled yet ultimately redeeming romance.
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Ralph Murphy, known for his “Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting” lectures and articles, has compiled his knowledge into a new book.
Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting: The Book is an in-depth how-to guide with an industry insider perspective. It covers story titles, possible roadblocks, crossing genres, music business 101, how to catch the attention of listeners, and more. Also included are his popular articles.
Murphy is a frequent lecturer and writer about the songwriting process.
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A new book about Alan Lomax delves into the life of the folklorist, archivist, and record producer who introduced folk music to the masses. John Szwed authored Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World (Viking).
Lomax’s groundbreaking field recordings of rural music eventually brought the sounds of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Burl Ives to the radio. By the 1940s he was producing concerts where white and black performers shared the stage. Among the rotating cast of characters in the book are Eleanor Roosevelt, Leadbelly, Jelly Roll Morton, Muddy Waters, and Bob Dylan.
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Charlie Louvin’s autobiography will be released early next year by Igniter Books, an imprint of It Books/HarperCollins. Louvin died of pancreatic cancer on January 26, 2011. He spent the last six months of his life co-authoring the book entitled Satan Is Real: The Ballad Of The Louvin Brothers with Benjamin Whitmer.