5 Music History Books To Read If You Love Bobby Braddock

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Two illustrations by renowned artist Carmen Beecher (https://www.carmenbeecher.com/) from Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics

Having written #1 hit songs in five different decades, Bobby Braddock is one of country music’s most successful and prolific songwriters. Here are five books to read that will have you putting your old records on!

Country Music’s Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics by Bobby Braddock

The cover image of Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches From American Classics

Unique stories give the reader a behind-the-scenes look at classics from Hank Williams, Bill Anderson, Roger Miller and Merle Haggard, as well as twenty-first-century icons like Alan Jackson, Taylor Swift and Eric Church. Artist Carmen Beecher brings these tales to vivid life with strikingly realistic illustrations of seldom-seen songwriters, easily recognizable superstars and unforgettable song characters. From late 1940s jukebox hits to present-day chart toppers, Braddock and Beecher offer a magical journey from the songwriter’s pen to the singer’s lips to the listener’s ear. You can find this book here!

“One of country music’s greatest songwriters has given us his own private tour of the collective genius of his profession. I read the book, then I realized how much wonderful music I’ve missed.”

Malcolm Gladwell,
best-selling author and host of the Revisionist History podcast

Memphis Blues: Birthplace of a Music Tradition by William Bearden

The cover image of Memphis Blues: Birthplace of a Music Tradition

The blues was born in the Mississippi Delta, and since that fateful night in 1903 when W. C. Handy heard the mournful sound of a pocketknife sliding over the strings of an acoustic guitar and the plaintive song of a long-forgotten musician in the hot night of Tutwiler, Mississippi, the blues has been on a journey around the world. From the cotton fields and juke-joints of the Delta, up Highway 61 to Memphis’s Beale Street, St. Louis, the Southside of Chicago, England, and points beyond, the blues is America’s unique form of music. Blues is incisive in its honesty, elemental in its rhythm, and powerful in its almost visceral sensation. Nearly every style of popular music has its roots in the blues. You can find this book here!

Motor City Rock And Roll: The 1960s and 1970s by Bob Harris and John Douglas Peters

The cover image of Motor City Rock and Roll: The 1960s and 1970s

Detroit is famous for its cars and its music. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Motor City fans experienced a golden age of rock and roll. Rock was the defiant voice of the boomer generation. The 1960s and the 1970s were turbulent decades. Blacks and women asserted themselves, breaking down the establishment. Rock music, and the spirit and events that defined it, advanced these interests. The war in Vietnam brought tension and national conflict. Drugs and a sexual revolution, made possible by the introduction of the birth control pill, added to the volatile mix. Woodstock, May Day protests, and the resignation of Pres. Richard Nixon were just a few of the upheavals that made these decades two of the most important in the nation’s history. You can find this book here!

Related: 8 Books for the Literary History Lover

Columbus: The Musical Crossroads by David Meyers, Arnett Howard, James Loeffler, and Candice Watkins

The cover image of Columbus: The Musical Crossroads

Columbus has long been known for its musicians. Unlike New York, San Francisco, Kansas City, Nashville, or even Cincinnati, however, it has never had a definable “scene.” Still, some truly remarkable music has been made in this musical crossroads by the many outstanding musicians who have called it home. Since 1900, Columbus has grown from the 28th- to the 15th-largest city in the United States. During this period, it has developed into a musically vibrant community that has nurtured the talents of such artists as Elsie Janis, Ted Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dwight Yoakam, Bow Wow, and Rascal Flatts. But, in many instances, those who chose to remain at home were as good and, perhaps, even better. You can find this book here!

The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME by Blake Ells

Cover image of The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME

FAME Publishing first opened in 1959 and produced hits for great musicians like Etta James, Clarence Carter and Aretha Franklin. ot long after, the city of Muscle Shoals became known as the “Hit Recording Capital of the World.” FAME was the foundation that produced Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the Nutthouse and Sundrop Sound at Single Lock Records – studios that gave a voice to artists like Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and John Paul White. A new generation, including the Pollies and Doc Dailey & the Magnolia Devil, today carries the tradition of great music. Through extensive research, and enriched with interviews from those who lived it, local author Blake Ells chronicles the epic story that started with FAME. You can find this book here!

Can’t get enough of music history? Check out these similar titles and more at arcadiapublishing.com!