One of our regular customers called the bookstore today to ask if we stocked the new book about Paul Gilley, the songwriter from Morgan County, Kentucky.
We don't. I'd never heard of Paul Gilley. Or, rather, I'd heard something slip by in the wind, and not held onto it.
And the book is self-published. Here's the link I found, in which the author is interviewed: http://www.wmmt.org/archives/2999
Back when I was co-editor of a magazine which cared deeply about the roots of American music, we'd have jumped all over this book, if only to tell the story of the man who wrote "Cold Cold Heart" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," along with some other songs we all probably recognize deep in the recesses of our memories.
He doesn't merit a listing in either of the two country encyclopedia still sitting on my desk, not the newer Oxford New Encyclopedia of Country Music compiled by the staff of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, nor in Barry McCloud's now dated Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers, which Peter gave me as a house-warming present all those years ago when I left Seattle for my 16-month exile in Los Angeles.
I don't know about the book. Probably I don't have time to read it, but just as probably I should probably make some time because it ought to be a good story.
And he's the kind of guy we started a magazine to help remember.