..for your public library’s copy of Roseanne Cash’s new memoir Composed: A Memoir, you might want to try some of these older, also wonderful memoirs by singers, songwriters, and other folks in the music business that are probably waiting for you on your library’s shelves.
Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash and Patrick Carr. A good companion to Roseanne’s memoir, Cash writes about the ups and downs of a very public life.
Sing Me Back Home: Love, Death, and Country Music by Dana Jennings. Growing up in hardscrabble, rural New Hampshire, born to parents in their late teens, country music was the background to Jennings’ life.
Society’s Child: My Autobiography by Janis Ian. Success at 15, with the song that matches her book’s title, brought Ian into a world of fame that was too hot for her to handle. She endured years of off-stage hardships, all told here in a heartfelt and very honest memoir.
Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield. The story of Rob and Renee and their shared passion for the music of the 1990s. Sheffield’s a funny, insightful, and affecting writer; he captures the role that music plays at a certain time in our lives. Sheffield has a new memoir, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut . I’m still on the reserve list for that one.
Extreme: My Autobiography by Sharon Osbourne with Penelope Dening. Osbourne tells a raunchy insider’s tale, filled with the violence and music of marriage to shock rocker Ozzy Osbourne.
Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton. A major player in the music of the 1960s and 1970s, Clapton tells the story of those sex, drug and alcohol-filled years, when he jammed with everyone, from George Harrison to Muddy Waters.
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn and George Vecsey. One of the most influential country music singers, Lynn’s memoir tells how she grew up in Appalachia, was married at age 13 and a grandmother at age 29. Her affecting story was made into a movie of the same name.
And if you haven’t read Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, you’ve missed one of the loopiest, most enjoyable novels about music.
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