When Hank Williams died in 1953 at the age of twenty-nine, from a lethal combination of alcohol and the pain killers he had used for years to ease the chronic pain of a congenital defect in the spine, he was already a legend. The first musician to lift country music out of the backwoods and into the popular music charts, he became the most influential country music singer and song-writer of the century. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have hailed him as a major influence, and his songs have been recorded by such diverse artists as Elvis Costello and The Carpenters. Chet Flippo's compelling biography is a fascinating tribute to a musician and his world, a history of country music encapsulated in one man's career.
Legendary rock critic Chet Flippo will be remembered as 'a fierce advocate of country music, long before country music was cool'. Famed for his no-holds-barred attitude to music journalism, he was one of the earliest editors of Rolling Stone. In the span of his distinguished four-decade-long career, his work appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Gallery, New York, Texas Monthly and many other publications besides. He was the author of an array of bestselling books, including Graceland: The Living Legacy of Elvis Presley, Yesterday: The Biography of a Beatle, David Bowie's Serious Moonlight: The World Tour Book with Denis O'Regan, and Gone Country: Portraits of Country Music's New Stars with Raeanne Rubenstein. He served as editorial director of Country Music Television and CMT.com until his death in 2013.