Fans will find an armload of books on music to shlep to the beach this year, although the country offerings are rather slim, according to a list compiled and published by Publishers Weekly.
However, some noted singer-songwriters will be issuing their memoirs in the months to come.
On the country front, Loretta Lynn’s Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics hit bookstores earlier this week and, as the title suggests, it focuses on the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s songs as well as her well-known up-from-poverty saga.
Another Country Music Hall of Fame member is spotlighted in the recently-released Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins. Author Diane Diekman covers Robbins’ life from a rough childhood in Arizona, through early hits such as “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)” to his success as a NASCAR driver and one of the Grand Ole Opry’s biggest stars. Diekman previously chronicled the life of yet another Hall of Famer in Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story.
Another bona fide country title, Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music will make its debut in May. The autobiography was originally slated for release last year.
In 1974 — to the great consternation of country purists — Newton-John, a pop singer from Australia, won the Country Music Association’s female vocalist of the year award. In all, she charted 16 country singles, the top one being “If You Love Me (Let Me Know),” which peaked at No. 2.
Released earlier this year, Gregg Allman’s My Cross to Bear details his life as a founding member of Allman Brothers Band, his long struggle with substance abuse and the tragic death of his brother, guitarist Duane Allman.
Carole King’s A Natural Woman, set for release Tuesday (April 10), covers her career as a singer-songwriter and performer, including her reflections on her classic album, Tapestry.
Singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin’s Diamond in the Rough: A Memoir, arriving in May, chronicles more than 30 years touring and writing with behind-the-music scenes vignettes.
Here are some other music-related titles to be released in the weeks and months ahead:
Streets of Fire: Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977–1979 by Eric Meola; It Ain’t Me: In Search of the Real Bob Dylan by David Dalton; Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped by Dean Budnick and Josh Baron; Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul by Mark Bego; Jimi Hendrix: A Brother’s Story by Leon Hendrix and Adam Mitchell; Iron Maiden: The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast by Neil Daniels and Heavy Metal and From Hard Rock to Extreme Metal by Kory Grow.
I Got a Name: The Jim Croce Story by Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock; When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy and David Ritz; Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson by Randall Sullivan; Nothin’ to Lose: The Making of Kiss (1972–1975) by Ken Sharp, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley; Shut Up and Give Me the Mike by Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and The Encyclopedia of New Wave by Daniel Bukszpan.
Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story by Mark Dillon; Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock by Jesse Jarnow; Power Chord: One Man’s Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes by Thomas Scott McKenzie; Amy, My Daughter by Mitch Winehouse and Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ’n’ Roll by Marc Dolan.
The Boy in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics by Michael Heatley and Frank Hopkinson; The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s by Peter Doggett; Punk Rock: An Oral History by John Robb; Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger by Christopher Andersen and Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Biography by Lesley-Ann Jones.