Looking for last minute gift ideas? Here are 10 books that explore the rich history of the genre and the lives of some of country music’s most intriguing figures.
10. For the Mother Church enthusiast:
From 1943 to 1974, the Ryman Auditorium became home to the Grand Ole Opry. The iconic house of worship, often hailed as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” is a sight to see. Historic Photos of the Opry: Ryman Auditorium 1974 gives you a backstage view into some of the Ryman’s best years.
9. For the Gamblers:
Kenny Rogers offers fans a deeper insight into his life with his memoir that takes the reader back to the beginning. Has it really been fifty years already? Get it here.
8. For the songwriter:
What happens when a Country Music Hall of Famer and one of country music’s most well-known journalists come together? A beautiful book about “old Nashville” that Johnny Cash himself recommends. Cash was quoted saying, “Just read The Storyteller’s Nashville by Tom T. Hall. Everything you need to know is in there.”
7. For the old-school country music fan:
Whisperin’ Bill Anderson’s name is almost synonymous with country music. In Whisperin’ Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life In Country Music Anderson shares the struggles of reinventing himself to stay relevant in an ever-evolving genre in this portrait of his life.
6. For the ladies:
This book is written by one of country music’s most important ladies: Waylon Jennings’ wife. She was a rebel in her own right and the only female to sing on the first platinum country album Wanted: The Outlaws. Get it here.
5. For the country music history buff:
Where did country music begin? This first-person history lesson aims to answer just that question. In The Country of Country covers the genesis of greats like Johnny Cash, Jimmie Rodgers and Patsy Cline.
4. For the Americana lover:
This Foggy Mountain Boy had an interesting climb to fame, becoming one of the first heroes of Americana. A thorough history of Scruggs, this book will make you fall in love with him all over again. Get it here.
3. For the Grand Ole Opry fanatic:
Nothing is more quintessential country than the Grand Ole Opry: every up-and-comer dreams of playing there, and those who get the chance never forget it. Behind The Grand Ole Opry Curtain offers more than 150 interviews with some of the Opry’s brightest stars by one of Nashville’s most celebrated entertainment journalists, Robert K. Oermann.
2. For the Dolly Parton buff:
The Queen of Country Music’s updated biography was released this year, and fans get an even more intimate look into Dolly’s life than before. Get it here.
1.For any country music fan:
When Johnny Cash talks, you listen. This is his story, in his own words, and he uses it to address rumors, chronicle the highs and lows of his career, personal life and everything else in between. Get it here.