In the world of country music, Buddy Killen is one of Nashville's biggest starmakers. In the course of his long career, beginning in the 1950s and cotinuing to the present day, he has worked with the likes of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Roger Miller, Billy Ray Cyrus, and many, many more. Now the man known as "the Quincy Jones of country music" tells all about his life and career in a personal and revealing story in the tradition of Ralph Emery's best-selling Memories. It is a rare behind-teh-scenes look at the country music industry from someone who has seen the music business from the front offices to the back stages.
Country music is currently estimated to be a $3-billion-a-year business, with record sales topping $700 million annually. Buddy Killen, former owner of Tree International, is one of the megastars of that industry, having written, published, and produced more hit songs than anyone in Nashville. From publishing Elvis Presley's first million-dollar record, "Heartbreak Hotel" to signing up a fourteen-yar-old Dolly Parton, to producing the records of such diverse recording stars as the Allman Brothers, Joe Tex, and Exile, Killen has seen, heard, and done it all.
Killen's story begins in a rat-infested shack in deep-Depression rural South, where Buddy was one of a family of eight children. After early years of struggle, he landed a job as a touring musician, playing with a number of country music's great performers, including one of the most famous and influential personalities in country music history, Hank Williams.
Looking back on a career spanning over forty years, Killen goes behind the myths to explore the truth of legends, revealing the secret and personal behavior of some of Country music's most renowned greats, past and present. Like a Who's Who of contradictions of private acts and public image, Killen reveals the on-stage versus back-stage personalities of country's most beloved legends, stars such as Gentleman Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Johnny Paycheck, Dottie West, and George Jones.
By The Seat of My Pants is not only an exciting look at the nation's hottest entertainment field by one of Nashville's key players and ultimate insiders, but a compelling human interest story that personifies the triumph of the human spirit.
About the Author
Tom Carter is the coauthor of Memories by Ralph Emery and Almost Like A Song by Ronnie Milsap. He lives in Nashville also.
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