This book tells the real story of country music, the quintessential soundtrack
of American life and the most popular music in the world today. Colin Escott writes
about the birth of country on the back porches in the hills and hollows of turn-of-the-century
Appalachia; follows its westward swing into Texas; explores the Hollywood era of singing cowboys;
charts the growth of the country music business in Nashville; and profiles the lives, often
tragic and extreme, of many of its most famous down-home guitar pickers,
fiddle players, lovestruck songsters, slick performers, and roughneck rebels. The book
is laced with intimate interviews and stocked with rare photographs of country music idols and legends
of both the studio and stage, including the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe,
Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Glen Campbell, Emmylou
Harris, Charley PRide, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Clint Black, and others. The book
is both a celebration of the strange, raw spirit of authentic country music and a critique
of the bland, soulless product that often passes for country music today.
Country music is the backwoods piety and rude ambition of the CAter Family; it's the dowdiness of Jimmie Rodgers and
the honky-tonk singer; it's the fierce insurgency of Bill Monroe's bluegrass, it's the dark
soliloquies of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash; and it's the defiant attitudes of Hank Jr. and
Travis Tritt. This is the story of country music—its great stars, the turning points, the current
crisis. Country music isn't the music of the hills or even the South anymore. It's playing
in strip malls, Wal-Marts, small-town diners, chic urban apartments, and comfortable
suburban homes everywhere. Lost Highway covers country music's incredible journey
from the back porch to the stadium.
About the Author
Colin Escott has been writing about country music for more than thirty years.
He co-produced the Grammy-winning boxed set The Complete Hank Williams and wrote
Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway. He also wrote
Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll and two anthologies,
Tattooed on Their Tongues? and Roadkill On the Three-Chord Highway.