There’s been a steady trickle of books bringing back the country stars and institutions whose light is fading, or long since. This month brings Diane Diekman’s Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story, which chronicles the recording artist and concert performer of the 1950s to the 1990s. David N. Meyer’s Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music, out in October, reanimates an important developer of the country rock genre, who influenced the Rolling Stones and Emmylou Harris, before dying of an overdose at only 26. Young was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000, but Parson’s memory seems left to a few biographies and a legacy that trails through modern music.
More general country music revivals (both November releases, to be reviewed in our October 1st issue) include Tony Russell’s Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost, which features biographies and photographs of both the well known and the forgotten, and Craig Havighurst’s Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City, which chronicles the history of a radio station, 650 AM, out of Nashville that introduced country music to the world with its launch of the Grand Ole Opry in 1927. Country fans and music scholars, let’s hope this fall’s deluge isn’t the autumn of country titles but the birth of a denser and enduring collection.