Shortly after Malcolm Gladwell on country music’s beautiful, often sad specificity became the latest blog post on KarenLovesCountry.com, a sweet reader who lives just a few miles away offered me a gift. She owned an extra copy of the Bobby Braddock book A Life on Nashville’s Music Row and even though we have never met, she thought I should have it.
My earlier post about Mr. Gladwell’s podcast King of Tears (an episode from his show Revisionist History) definitely drew my interest to Bobby Braddock’s book. According to Gladwell, the real life episodes from the songwriter, who parented unforgettable (and now classic) country hits spanning forty years like He Stopped Loving Her Today, D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Golden Ring, Time Marches On, I Wanna Talk About Me, and People are Crazy, were both exhausting and spellbinding to read.
This afternoon I took a break from work and drove the generous reader’s house to pick up Braddock’s book. Mrs. G, a retired teacher at the high school my daughter attended, smiled and said she enjoyed reading my posts. We talked for a few minutes on her stoop after she handed me the big hardbound with a front cover designed like a Hatch Show Print. She explained she won a copy of Braddock’s book when it came out in 2015 through Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 shortly after buying a first.
She also told me her son had long urged her to read Gladwell’s books. Now that she’s listened to one of his podcasts she may get around to it. “I teared up at the end,” she said of the George Jone’s funeral excerpt closing out the King of Tears episode. We agreed Malcolm Gladwell must be a country music fan.
Getting a free book is fantastic and A Life on Nashville’s Music Row sounds like essential background for my blogging. But meeting a reader who shares deep curiosities about country music is even better. Thanks, Mrs. G!
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