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A Guitar and a Pen:
Stories by Country Music's Greatest Songwriters

by Robert Hicks, John Bohlinger and Justin Stelter

      As a young person I had to listen to what my parents liked on the car radio. Daddy was a bluegrass banjo player but he and Momma both were country music fans. As a child, my favorite country songs were the ones that told a story. These included songs like Kenny Rogersí hit, "The Gambler" and Dolly Parton singing "A Coat of Many Colors."

I never stopped to think about the songwriters who were so talented that they could tell a wonderful story, set it to music and have it play out in three minutes or less. Now that, my friend, was talent!

When the book A Guitar and a Pen was released, I realized that some smart soul had came up with a brilliant idea. Give these oh, so talented song writers the opportunity to write a story. They would not have to set it to music and it would not have a time limit.

From the opening page I was hooked. Not only were there fiction pieces by songwriters such as my favorite, Kris Kristofferson, and Tom T. Hall, but there are impressive nonfiction stories like the one by Gary Nicholson, a multitalented performer, who writes about an albino African American musician who was the inspiration for his becoming a musician.

Robert Hicks, John Bohlinger and Justin Stelter do a wonderful job editing this collection. Robert Hicks even contributes a story of his own. I am an avid fan of his book Widow of the South and enjoy his work immensely.

I would recommend this book to fans of country music as well as readers who just love a good story.

The Book

Center Street / Hachette Book Group
May 14th, 2008
1599950642 / 978-1599950648
Fiction / Short Stories
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The Reviewer

Susan Johnson
Reviewed 2008
© 2008