“A terrific biography of a rock innovator that hums with juicy detail and wincing truth. . . . Page after page groans with the folly of the ’60s drug culture, the tragedy of talent toasted before its time, the curse of wealth and the madness of wasted opportunity.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • NAMED ONE OF THE FIVE BEST ROCK BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ROLLING STONE As a singer and songwriter, Gram Parsons stood at the nexus of countless musical crossroads, and he sold his soul to the devil at every one. His intimates and collaborators included Keith Richards, William Burroughs, Marianne Faithfull, Peter Fonda, Roger McGuinn, and Clarence White. Parsons led the Byrds to create the seminal country rock masterpiece Sweetheart of the Rodeo, helped to guide the Rolling Stones beyond the blues in their appreciation of American roots music, and found his musical soul mate in Emmylou Harris. Parsons’ solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel, are now recognized as visionary masterpieces of the transcendental jambalaya of rock, soul, country, gospel, and blues Parsons named “Cosmic American Music.” Parsons had everything—looks, charisma, money, style, the best drugs, the most heartbreaking voice—and threw it all away with both hands, dying of a drug and alcohol overdose at age twenty-six. In this beautifully written, raucous, meticulously researched biography, David N. Meyer gives Parsons’ mythic life its due. From interviews with hundreds of the famous and obscure who knew and worked closely with Parsons–many who have never spoken publicly about him before–Meyer conjures a dazzling panorama of the artist and his era. Praise for Twenty Thousand Roads “Far and away the most thorough biography of Parsons . . . skewers any number of myths surrounding this endlessly mythologized performer.”—Los Angeles Times “The definitive account of Gram Parsons’ life–and early death. From the country-rock pioneer’s wealthy, wildly dysfunctional family through his symbiotic friendship with Keith Richards, Meyer deftly illuminates one of rock’s most elusive figures.”—Rolling Stone “Meticulously researched . . . Though Meyer answers a lot of long-burning questions, he preserves Parsons’ legend as a man of mystery.”—Entertainment Weekly “Meyer gives Parsons a thorough, Peter Guralnick-like treatment.”—New York Post
"Virginia Scharff's wonderfully readable account of women in motion complicates and enriches our understanding of the nineteenth and twentieth century Wests. Her gendered remapping of the regional landscape explodes traditional notions of western movement. All students of women and gender, travel and place, the West and America, would do well to read this excellent book."—David M. Wrobel, author of Promised Lands: Promotion, Memory, and the Creation of the American West "Virginia Scharff claims for women what has long been central to the masculine mythology of the West—free movement and its many gifts, real and imagined. Her book is as exhilarating and as intellectually and emotionally expansive as our enduring dream of flight across the American land."—Elliott West, author of The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado "Brilliant is not a word that is often a part of my critical vocabulary, but brilliantly is how Twenty Thousand Roads begins. When writing of Sacagawea and Susan Magoffin, Virginia Scharff shows vividly how a single life can be a source of sophisticated cultural analysis without becoming an academic artifact or an object of condescension."—Richard White, author of It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of the American West
A treasury of significant works by travel writers from the East and the West over the last ten centuries details the ceremonies performed at Mecca and the reasons behind them, through two distinct sides of a spirited conversation. Reprint.
Sally Alder is a couple of ears past her wild youth as the hard-drinking, guitar playing, hell-raising singer known as Mustang Sally. But then she's grown with age, She's wiser and more coolheaded now, and, more important, Sally has learned how to keep a secret. It's a good thing, too, because she's going to need every advantage she's gained in order to handle the job she's just taken. Imagine having to move from LA to Laramie to get a thrill. A professor of history at UCLA, Sally has just been offered the hugely endowed and deliciously secretive Dunwoodie Distinguished Chair in American Women's History at the University of Wyoming. Job description: Move into the late Meg Dunwoodie's posh residence in Laramie (the only one of its kind) and, with sole proprietors of her papers, construct the definitive Meg Dunwoodie biography--without telling anyone anything about it. Sally Alder is a couple of ears past her wild youth as the hard-drinking, guitar playing, hell-raising singer known as Mustang Sally. But then she's grown with age, She's wiser and more coolheaded now, and, more important, Sally has learned how to keep a secret. It's a good thing, too, because she's going to need every advantage she's gained in order to handle the job she's just taken. Imagine having to move from LA to Laramie to get a thrill. A professor of history at UCLA, Sally has just been offered the hugely endowed and deliciously secretive Dunwoodie Distinguished Chair in American Women's History at the University of Wyoming. Job description: Move into the late Meg Dunwoodie's posh residence in Laramie (the only one of its kind) and, with sole proprietors of her papers, construct the definitive Meg Dunwoodie biography--without telling anyone anything about it. In this town, rumors abound and secrets are practically nonexistent. Of course, everyone knows that Sally has been hired to poke through old Meg's papers, and a lot of people think that somewhere among them sits a treasure map that could lead to a fortune in gold Krugerrands. Oneway or another, most of Laramie is determined to getinto Meg Dunwoodie's house. There are break-ins, a curious sheriff, gossipy friends, and avaricious faculty at the university. And, if that isn't enough to distract Sally from her research, sexy Hawk Green has shown up to rekindle a romance Sally thought was gone forever. But all this goes deeper and the stakes are higher thanSally could have imagined. As she delves intoMeg's romantic and heartbreaking past as a foreigncorrespondent in Paris during World War II, the forces of good and evil are aligning in Laramie, and Sally realizes that, truly, those who don't learn from their pasts are doomed to repeat it. In the tradition, of Susan Isaacs and Fannie Flagg, Virginia Swift has written a story that breaks the mold, with a cast of finely drawn characters and a heroine whose wit and intelligence are matched only by herdetermination.
Southern music has flourished as a meeting ground for the traditions of West African and European peoples in the region, leading to the evolution of various traditional folk genres, bluegrass, country, jazz, gospel, rock, blues, and southern hip-hop. This much-anticipated volume in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates an essential element of southern life and makes available for the first time a stand-alone reference to the music and music makers of the American South. With nearly double the number of entries devoted to music in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 30 thematic essays, covering topics such as ragtime, zydeco, folk music festivals, minstrelsy, rockabilly, white and black gospel traditions, and southern rock. And it features 174 topical and biographical entries, focusing on artists and musical outlets. From Mahalia Jackson to R.E.M., from Doc Watson to OutKast, this volume considers a diverse array of topics, drawing on the best historical and contemporary scholarship on southern music. It is a book for all southerners and for all serious music lovers, wherever they live.
Since the 1950s, the housing developments in the West that historian Lincoln Bramwell calls �wilderburbs� have offered residents both the pleasures of living in nature and the creature comforts of the suburbs. Remote from cities but still within commuting distance, nestled next to lakes and rivers or in forests and deserts, and often featuring spectacular views of public lands, wilderburbs celebrate the natural beauty of the American West and pose a vital threat to it. Wilderburbs tells the story of how roads and houses and water development have transformed the rural landscape in the West. Bramwell introduces readers to developers, homeowners, and government regulators, all of whom have faced unexpected environmental problems in designing and building wilderburb communities, including unpredictable water supplies, threats from wildfires, and encounters with wildlife. By looking at wilderburbs in the West, especially those in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, Bramwell uncovers the profound environmental consequences of Americans� desire to live in the wilderness.
Sent to investigate mysterious encounters that are disrupting international shipping, Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and disgruntled harpooner Ned Land are captured when their frigate is sunk during an encounter with the "monster." The submarine Nautilus and its eccentric Captain Nemo afford the professor and his companions endless fascination and danger as they're swept along on a yearlong undersea voyage.