It's the real stories, not the publicists' confections, that concern Colin Escott. We hear Perry Como's story in his own words: it wasn't all smooth. We learn about the astonishing twists and turns in Roy Orbison's life, and the stories behind the songs we know so well. And we go down with Vernon Oxford, the last great honky tonk singer, who came to Nashville just a little too late. These are stories for anyone who loves what Escott calls "little songs from great sorrows." They will fascinate even the most casual fan of popular music, and they're told here in sympathetic, engaging, and illuminating prose.
Colin Escott lives outside of Nashville, TN. He is the author of Tattooed on Their Tongues: Journeys through the Backrooms of American Music and Hank Williams: The Biography, and coauthor of Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway, and Good Rockin' Tonight: The Sun Records Story. He has annotated over 500 recordings, and has won numerous awards for his writing, including a Grammy for historic documentation and an Lifetime Achievement Award from the ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collections), a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the history of recorded sound.
Introduction Part 1 The Smoother Side of Town 1. Roy Orbison: Starlight Lit My Lonesomeness 2. Perry Como: RIP 3. Patti Page: Oklahoma Blues Part 2 Fabor A Scam for Every Occasion 4. Jim Reeves: Say "Yes" to Rugs 5. Mitch Torok: When Mexican Joe Gave up the Rhumba 6. Ned Miller: From a Jack to a King Part 3 Town Hall Party 7. Skeets McDonald: You Oughta See Grandma 8. Wynn Stewart: Not Such a Pretty World 9. Wanda Jackson: Did She or Didn't She? 10. The Collins Kids: Brokenhearted Ricky Part 4 Memphis Sun Records, June 1957 11. Sonny Burgess: The Wild Man at 70 12. Ed Bruce: Mammas Don't Let Your Rock Boppin' Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys 13. Onie Wheeler Onie's Unlikely Bop (3188) Part 5 Postscript 14. Vernon Oxford: Too Country for Country (5761) Index