Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn (2013)

Classic Rock Review


“He is what the land and the country are all about, the heart and soul of it personified…”. Bob Dylan.

“It’s called country music and western music, but the truth is it’s American music. It speaks in story about America in a way that speaks to all of us, north, east, west, and south.” Richard Nixon at a White House concert.

With the holiday gift giving season fast approaching, there’s no surfeit of books on musical artists. Books on Charlie Parker, The Beatles, Duke Ellington, Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, and no doubt others will be on the bookshelves. But certainly one of the best is Robert Hilburn’s book on Johnny Cash.

Hilburn began this book in 2009 when Cash’s manager told him “only about twenty percent” of Cash’s life had been told. While previous books on Cash put his life and music in some kind of perspective, Hilburn…

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pyrajane’s review #33: Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones

Cannonball Read V

Jim HensonWhen I heard there was a massive biography of Jim Henson coming out, I was excited and worried.  I wanted to know more about the man who created so many things that I’ve enjoyed throughout my life, but I knew I was going to cry when they talked about his funeral.  I was also worried that he might turn out to be a jerk, even though I had no reason to worry about this.  But still, what if the guy who brought Kermit to life ended up being kind of a dick?  I don’t want that knowledge in my head.

Happily and not surprisingly, Jim Henson was lovely.

Brian Jay Jones spent several years with those close to Jim and the result is a wonderful book.  Reading it was pure pleasure because of Jones’ writing style.  It’s conversational, emotional, smart and incredibly informative and was extremely satisfying.  The combination of…

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On Writers: Biography

I don’t consider myself to be well-read when it comes to the genre of biography. However, I stumbled across two wonderful recent biographies this past year, thanks to the “New” shelf at my public library. Both are tomes. Both had sections that were hard to push through at times, due to being so dense with information. However, I loved them both, and I’d recommend them to anyone with even a cursory interest in the writer.

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