When Victor Koo of FOYers Bloggers' Group wanted to meet me on the afternoon before National Day (8.8.2011) I thought he wanted to celebrate the occasion together. We did actually and had coffee n cake at a quaint roadside cafe near the Novena Church. But he also brought along a book (image) as a gift. In fact this same gentleman introduced my blog to yesterday.sg and helped establish it somewhat. Thank you very much Victor for your kindness and friendship.
I learnt much reading it and realised how the spurts of information, glossy photographs, sidebars, precious *nuggets about each star and a greatest-hits list make the book mighty informative but easy ridin'. Like reading a great blog on an iPad.
Legends of Country by Liz Mechem and Chris Carroll introduces the CW hit list of pop singers that helped put this genre of "music on the map and keep it there." From Roy Acuff, Bill Carlisle, Defore Bailey, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Thompson (I honestly haven't heard of them before) to familiar ones like Alabama, Chet Atkins, Gene Autry, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, Jim Reeves, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Shania Twain and Elvis!
There are 100 mostly known names, all covering 160 pages of pioneers, storytellers and musicians who had, "left their imprint on this unique art form." And like how the Introduction explained, "Country's all about using small stories to represent big themes, and using big themes to illuminate small moments", this huge publication tells a lot.
So much for the **book. Now the authors. Liz Mechem is a freelance writer and editor teaching fiction writing in New York City. Chris Carroll, her husband is a photographer whose work has appeared in many national magazines.
And this ain't no old dusty document! It's 4 years young and published by Dalmatian Press (Dalmatian Publishing Group, Atlanta, Georgia 30329), Copyright 2007. And I'm still browsing through.
*Nuggets: 1. "Barbara Mandrell was known as the Princess of Steel for her prowess on the steel guitar." 2. "Sonny James became the first contry artist in 1971 to record a program for a moon flight." 3. Did you know that Floyd Tillman recorded, G. I. Blues before Elvis in 1941? Ah, but is it the same song? Interesting facts.
**Again, thanks Victor for your present. More book-gift postings for Chun See, Yusnor Ef, Larry Lai, etc. in later weeks.Image/Original article: Andy Lim Collection.