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A Guitar and a Pen

A Guitar and a Pen

Compiled By New York Times Bestselling Author, Robert Hicks, This is a Collection of Stories By the World’s Ultimate Short Story Writers, Country Music’s Greatest Songwriters

This unique collection presents, for the first time, the literary work of some of the best storytellers in the world: the songwriters who cut and polish tales down to sparkling three minute gems. A blend of fiction and nonfiction, humor and poignancy, these tales cover a wide range of styles and country artists.

Nashville, Music City USA, is a place where entertainment and artistic fortune are built on the bedrock of songwriters.  It has been said in Nashville over and over that “It all begins with a song.”  Country music’s wordsmiths have shaped and molded some of the greatest stories ever told into three and a half minutes that fit neatly on the radio.  The editors of A Guitar and a Pen set out to answer the question, “If they can put all that into a song, what could and would they do with a blank piece of paper and a pen?”  The answer lies in this remarkable collection of creativity and insight.

Co-edited by Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South, and by John Bohlinger and Justin Stelter, A Guitar and a Pen features a stunning array of talent.  This collections features contributions by Charlie Daniels (“The Devil Went Down to Georgia”), Tom T. Hall (“Harper Valley P.T.A.”), Bob McDill (“Song of the South”),  Tia Sillers (“There’s Your Trouble,” “I Hope You Dance”), Gary Nicholson (“One More Last Chance,” “She Couldn’t Change Me”), Mark D. Sanders (“Daddy’s Money,” “It Matters To Me”), Bob DiPiero (“Cleopatra, Queen of Denial,” “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl”), Kris Kristofferson (“For The Good Times,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down”), Hal Ketchum (“Hang In There Superman,” “Sure Love”), Bobby Braddock (“He Stopped Loving Her Today”), and Janis Ian (“Society’s Child”) to name a few.

In “A Rock,” Kris Kristofferson tells the insightful and humorous story of how an explicit natural rock formation brings chaos to a small farming town out west. Collection editor Robert Hicks presents “Gathering Together,” a quirky contemporary story of a Southern family. This is just a handful of the wonderful contributions to this entertaining collection.

Story listings for A Guitar and a Pen: Stories by Country Music’s Greatest Songwriters

  • Foreword by Vince Gill
  • The Day Jimmy Killed the Rabbit by Tom T. Hall
  • Career Day by Robbie Fulks
  • How I Stayed a Boy by Tia Sillers
  • Whitey Johnson by Gary Nicholson
  • Cybersong by Bobby Braddock
  • Gathering Together by Robert Hicks
  • The Point by Monty Powell
  • Mr. Munch Has a Murmur by Mark D. Sanders
  • Fork by John Hadley
  • The Box by Kevin Welch
  • A Rock by Kris Kristofferson
  • The Care and Treatment of Camp Cooks by Bob McDill
  • A Big Batch of Biscuits by John Bohlinger
  • Shiny, Like New by Dony Wynn
  • The Clock Struck Nine by Hal Ketchum
  • Of Guitars and Righteous Men by Janis Ian
  • The River by Tim Putnam
  • Lucky Boy by Klem Hayes
  • Cheeseburger Boogie by Bob DiPiero
  • A Burning Bush Will Do by Marshall Chapman
  • Born and Raised in Black and White by Don Cook
  • He Always Knew Who He Was by Hazel Smith
  • Curtis Loach by Charlie Daniels
  • The Elk Hunters by Tim Johnson
  • Will It Ever Happen Again by Michael Kosser

Editor Biographies

Robert Hicks
Robert Hicks has lived and worked in Nashville for almost thirty-five years.  As a music publisher, he has run his own company, launching the careers of some of Nashville’s best-loved singer-songwriters and publishing hits like “Just Call Me Lonesome,” “Kisses Don’t Lie,” “Lipstick Promises,” and “Never Say Die.”  He has worked as an independent publisher and has also been in partnerships with both PolyGram Music and MCA/Universal Music. In 2001, Robert Hicks co-authored Nashville: The Pilgrims of Guitar Town (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York) with French photographer Michel Arnaud. He is the author of the New York Times Best-Selling novel, The Widow of the South published by Warner Books/NY September, 2005.

His regular “guitar pulls” out at his cabin in the hills south of Nashville have attracted everyone from John Hiatt and the late Harlin Howard to Mary Chapin Carpenter and Beth Nielsen Chapman; from Jules Shear and Larry Carlton to Ray Wylie Hubbard and Steppenwolf’s John Kay.  Keith Richards once remarked, “You just don’t stumble upon the guitar pull, you have to persevere in your heart to get there.”

John Bohlinger
John Bohlinger is a Montana native and former Ivy League honors student who was close to earning a Ph.D. in psychology when he dropped out to pursue a life in music.

Since 2002, John has worked as the band leader/music director for the USA Network’s hit program Nashville Star, now in its’ sixth season on their new home on NBC. Over his fifteen years in Nashville, John has toured and continues to tour the world nearly constantly, holding down the guitar/mandolin/pedal steel end for over thirty major label artists. Currently, John tours with Randy Owen from the super group Alabama (Forty-two #1 singles, two Grammies, as well as CMA and ACM awards). John currently records for FARM TO MARKET RECORDS, an independent label based in Bozeman, MT.

John’s musical compositions and playing can be heard on several major motion pictures, major label albums and over one hundred television spots.  Most recently a PBS/HDTV special entitled The Outlaw Trail featured his songs performed by Suzy Bogguss, Lee Roy Parnell, Russell Smith (The Amazing Rhythm Aces), Cowboy Troy and Del Castillo.

John writes a monthly column entitled “Side Man Survival” for Premiere Guitar Magazine.

Justin Stelter
Justin Stelter grew up in Eagleville, Tennessee. He writes regularly for regional periodicals and as Head Gardener at Historic Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, speaks throughout the Mid-South on nineteenth century American gardening. A passionate traveler and student of literature, Justin is planning a career as a fiction and garden writer.

Date of Release: May 14, 2008
Price:  $23.99 ($26.99 in Canada)
ISBN-10: 1-59995-064-2 / ISBN-13: 978-1-5995-064-8
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x8-1/4

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