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Robert K. Oermann - Behind The Grand Ole Opry Curtain

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'Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy' - Robert K. Oermann

'Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy' - Robert K. Oermann

Center Street

Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain Bottom Line

Robert K. Oermann is one of the most respected journalists in country music and he is one of the top selling authors in all of Music City. Now fans can own his book Behind The Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales Of Romance And Tragedy. The title sums it up perfectly as Robert delivers stories directly from the stars and the people closest to them. Each chapter is dedicated to a member of the Opry's past and present, such as Stringbean, Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart and many more.

An In-Depth Look Into Country Music

Every chapter in this amazing book gives the reader an in depth look into country music and the people who make it. For decades, fans have been interested in learning about their favorite artists. Once you start reading this, there is no way to put it down. Robert K. Oermann interviewed over one hundred and fifty different people to make sure these stories were one hundred percent correct.

Right from the start, Robert delivers an awesome chapter that shines into the lives of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Johnny and June were a part of country music royalty. The life they created together and the lives that they influenced are countless. This chapter brings together the Cash's and the Carter's by delivering an inside look into the little details that people may not have known before.

A heartbreaking chapter is titled "The Stringbean Murders." Being a huge fan of the classic artists, this section grabbed my attention right from the start. Stringbean were one of the pioneer banjo pickers who played "claw hammer" style until the day he was killed. Stringbean and his wife, Estelle was murdered one night when they arrived home from the Opry. Grandpa Jones and Stringbean were great friends and it was Grandpa who discovered their gruesome bodies the next morning when he came by to pick up Stringbean. Robert goes into great detail describing the trial and bringing this story into modern light. By the time this section was over, I was choking up reading how such an awesome man's world came to an end.

One chapter that many people may find interesting is called "It's All Relative." This showcases the life and relationship of Grand Ole Opry members Pam Tillis and Mel Tillis. It goes into great depth to enlighten folks about the rocky relationship this father and daughter had for many years until they both learned to truly respect each other for their accomplishments and sorrows. Most people have this false impression that they have been close from the beginning. Most kids rebel against their parents, but most parents are not away from home for months at a time.

A Father's Love

"Fatherhood First" is a tough chapter. Country music recently lost Eddy Arnold and it's a shame that he was not able to read this chapter himself. Being the most popular artist in country music did not come without a price. Eddy was gone for weeks at a time, which kept him away from his children and his wife. He was riding high when his son, Dickey was nearly killed in a car crash. Eddy decided to put his career on hold and instead of putting his son in to a rehabilitation program, Eddy brought him home and took care of him nonstop. Since he was off the road and the charts for so long, his career never regained the momentum that it once had. This was a small price to pay in order to take care of the child whose life he'd missed out on for so many years.

"The Opry Curse" is another interesting, yet heartwrenching story. It brings to light the different artists who were killed tragically in a short period of time. Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins were three of the stars mentioned.

One of the chapters that I found the most interesting is "Dolly's Mystery Man." Everyone knows she is married to Carl Dean, but the funny thing about him is that no one knows who he is. Carl has never wanted anything to do with the music industry. When they first got married, he told her how he felt and that going to special events was not his "cup of tea." Their marriage works, and once you have read this section you will understand why.

"Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'" is obviously about the life of Charley Pride. He is one of the awesome superstars in country music that defied all odds and came out on top. If you are looking for a chapter to read that is entertaining and full of information, this one is it.

"The Harmonica Wizard" is exceptional. DeFord Bailey is country music's first African-American superstar. Although he has never received the recognition he deserved, DeFord Bailey has remained one of the most talked about stars backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Judge D. Hay gave him a job as a harmonica player and it ended up landing him a spot on the Opry's cast. He was known for being sharp-dressed and a true gentleman. While everyone else on the Opry was dressing in overalls and cowboy hats, Deford was in a suit and a nice hat.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Matt Carr / Getty Images
Bringing this book to an end is a chapter about Hank Williams titled "The Tragedy Of Country Music's King." It goes into detail about his mysterious death and the people that surrounded him. This is one of the most informative books I have ever read. All of the chapters are a perfect length and nothing drags on. Robert K. Oermann proves why he is called "The Dean Of Music Row."

Release Date: October 8th, 2008 - Center Street

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