Grammy-nominated songwriter and author Peter Cooper to read from new book “Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music” at Double Decker

Published 3:36 pm Thursday, April 27, 2017

By Jim Dees

Peter’s Cooper’s entertaining new book is “Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music” (Spring House Press). Cooper is director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. A Grammy-nominated songwriter, he played bass for Loretta Lynn and his friendships stretch from Waylon to Taylor, Merle to Dierks. One hilarious essay describes his introducing the Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter to Porter Wagoner.

Cooper will be interviewed on The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour during Friday’s Double Decker show at 7 p.m. as well as read from his book.

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Filled with untold stories and newly revealed histories, the book is an informal yet well-studied inside view of country music’s greatest characters and pivotal moments. Spanning 19 chapters, “Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride” is an original take on the formative days at the Grand Ole Opry’s radio station, WSM, as well as an engaging look at 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, steel guitar legend, Lloyd Green, 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.

American Songwriter magazine said, “Cooper’s love for the music and for the musicians themselves is infectious, as is his gentle humor throughout. Many of the stories sound like great old yarns you’d hear after a few beers in a Nashville bar. He manages to strike the perfect balance between folksy storytelling and deep musical knowledge.”

Acclaimed music author Peter Guralnick adds, “There’s a gem on every page. You’re in for a treat.”

Following the Thacker broadcast, Cooper will sign copies of his book at a table near the stage (weather permitting) or will greet readers at Off Square Books.