Peter Guralnick, the dean of rock-and roll-storytellers, writes in the introduction to Johnny's Cash & Charley's Pride, "Peter Cooper has always been in the mix." Whether spending time with a legend like Johnny Cash, playing bass for Loretta Lynn, discussing songwriting with Taylor Swift, or introducing the Grateful Dead's Robert Hunter to Porter Wagoner, Peter Cooper, a respected music writer, accomplished musician, and Grammy-nominated producer, has continually found himself in the presence of music royalty and the recipient of countless intimate conversations, asides, and confidences.
In his new book, Johnny's Cash & Charley's Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music (Spring House Press; ISBN: 9781940611709; $17.95; April 25, 2017; Paperback), Cooper chronicles his many "in the mix" tales since arriving in Nashville in 2000 to cover the country music scene for the Tennessean. Filled with untold stories and newly revealed histories, it is an informal yet well-studied inside view of country music's greatest characters and pivotal moments. Now a senior director, writer, and producer at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cooper's selected stories are akin to a curated behind-the-scenes, first-person tour of the unique personalities that shaped country music.
Spanning nineteen chapters, Johnny's Cash & Charley's Pride is an original take on the formative days at WSM as well as engaging introductions to an ensemble cast of country music's icons, quirks, and golden-but-hidden personalities. Including the previously mentioned legends, Cooper covers Kris Kristofferson, Don Light, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs, The Station Inn, and many more while sprinkling in guest appearances by the likes of Lee Ann Womack, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Stapleton, and Dierks Bentley. With a gem on every page, Cooper has crafted a perceptive, smiling, and atypical immersion into the world of country music that will keep any music fan engaged with its wit, passion, and authenticity.
About The Author
Peter Cooper is an award-winning musician and respected music journalist. He is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Senior Director, Producer, and Writer, and a senior lecturer in country music at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. He is a Grammy-nominated music producer, and a songwriter whose works have been recorded by John Prine, Bobby Bare, Jim Lauderdale, and others. He has appeared on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman and was, along with the like of the Kings of Leon and financial guru Dave Ramsey, named one of Nashville's "10 Most Interesting People" by Nashville Arts & Entertainment magazine.