New Book Explores Life And Career Of Merle Kilgore

Pictured (L-R): Hank Williams Jr., Mark Rickert and Merle Kilgore

The life and career of Merle Kilgore, who co-wrote Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” and managed Hank Williams Jr. for more than two decades, is explored in the new book, These Are My People (WriteLife Publishing).

The book was penned by Kilgore’s grandson, Mark Rickert, and features more than 20 black and white photos. The book is Rickert’s second, following his horror novel, The Tone Poet.

“We had a very close relationship,” Rickert recalls. “I listened to his stories for hours on end, summer after summer. He was a character and his friends were superstars. His was a story I always believed should be told.”

Kilgore died in 2005 at age 70, and his funeral service was held at the Mother Church of Country Music: The Ryman Auditorium.

These Are My People is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local bookstores across the country.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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