The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum has reissued four historical books exploring the lives and careers of Country Music Hall of Fame members Patsy Cline, The Delmore Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills. The previously out-of-print titles are now available for purchase in the museum’s store and on its website.
The quality paperback books have been updated and include fresh interior designs and new cover artwork. Published by the museum’s longstanding publishing arm, CMF Press, the titles will be widely available in bookstores and online outlets beginning Oct. 24 through a distribution partnership with the University of Illinois Press. The ongoing partnership between the museum and the university press aims to co-publish new works on country music and related music styles as well as release and distribute significant out-of-print historical books.
Newly reissued books include:
The Life and Times of Patsy Cline by Margaret Jones
The book explores the riveting and heart-wrenching story of country music artist Patsy Cline, from her against-all-odds rise from poverty and a lonely childhood shrouded in secrecy, to her tragic and untimely death at the age of 30 when she had finally achieved the triumph she had sought all her life. The first solo female artist elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cline has inspired scores of singers and is frequently invoked as a standard for female vocalists. Originally published in 1994, the book includes a foreword by the late Country Music Hall of Fame member Loretta Lynn. Margaret Jones is the editor of over a hundred books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has written and edited stories on cultural figures that have appeared in a variety of magazines and newspapers. Her essays and articles have been published in several books, including The Encyclopedia of Country Music (Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Oxford University Press).
The Delmore Brothers: Truth Is Stranger Than Publicity by Alton Delmore
The Delmore Brothers — Alton and Rabon Delmore — molded blues and country-gospel into an influential, guitar-driven harmony sound with classic songs such as “Brown’s Ferry Blues” and “Blues Stay Away from Me.” Older brother Alton also left behind this fascinating, long-unpublished autobiography, which brings to life the early Grand Ole Opry and the struggles of pioneering country musicians. The book was originally published in 1977 and edited by historian Charles K. Wolfe. Alton Delmore performed with his brother Rabon as the Delmore Brothers from 1926 to 1952. The book includes an introduction and discography by the late Charles K. Wolfe, who was a professor of English and folklore studies and the author of 10 books about American music.
My Husband, Jimmie Rodgers by Carrie Rodgers
My Husband, Jimmie Rodgers was the first book-length biography ever published about a country musician. Rodgers left a profound impression on early country music. Songs that he performed —”T for Texas,” “Daddy and Home,” “In the Jailhouse Now,” “Miss the Mississippi” and more — are still a regular part of country performers’ repertoires. Despite a recording career that lasted only six years (1927-1933) and ended with Rodgers’ untimely death from tuberculosis, he has inspired generations of artists and musicians and his influence still resonates today. Carrie Rodgers was married to Jimmie from 1920 until his death in 1933. The book, which was originally published in 1935, includes an introduction by the late Nolan Porterfield, author of Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of America’s Blue Yodeler (University of Illinois Press).
Bob Wills: Hubbin’ It by Ruth Sheldon
An expert fiddler and a magnetic showman, Bob Wills (1905–1975) popularized a style of Southwestern dance music known as western swing, a rhythmic hybrid of fiddle music, blues and big band swing. Originally published in 1938, when Wills was 33 years old and nearing the height of his fame, this book by journalist Ruth Sheldon chronicled Wills’ rags-to-riches rise. She produced a biography that captures the ebullient personality of Wills and reflects the bandleader’s vision of himself. Hubbin’ It provides a window into the daily life of a working musician during the Depression and a rich source of historical detail on one of America’s great musical innovators. Sheldon was a reporter for the Tulsa Tribune and has written several other books under the name Ruth Sheldon Knowles. The book includes an introduction by Charles R. Townsend, author of San Antonio Rose: The Life and Music of Bob Wills (University of Illinois Press).