Synopses & Reviews
A star par excellence, Dolly Parton is one of country musicand#8217;s most likable personalities. Even a hard-rocking punk or orchestral aesthete canand#8217;t help cracking a smile or singing along with songs like and#147;Joleneand#8221; and and#147;9 to 5.and#8221; More than a mere singer or actress, Parton is a true cultural phenomenon, immediately recognizable and beloved for her talent, tinkling laugh, and steel magnolia spirit. She is also the only female star to have her own themed amusement park: Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Every year thousands of fans flock to Dollywood to celebrate the icon, and Helen Morales is one of those fans.
In Pilgrimage to Dollywood, Morales sets out to discover Partonand#8217;s Tennessee. Her travels begin at the top celebrity pilgrimage site of Elvis Presleyand#8217;s Graceland, then take her to Loretta Lynnand#8217;s ranch in Hurricane Mills; the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville; to Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and finally to Pigeon Forge, home of the and#147;Dolly Homecoming Parade,and#8221; featuring the star herself as grand marshall. Moralesand#8217;s adventure allows her to compare the imaginary Tennessee of Partonand#8217;s lyrics with the real Tennessee where the singer grew up, looking at essential connections between country music, the land, and a way of life. Itand#8217;s also a personal pilgrimage for Morales. Accompanied by her partner, Tony, and their nine-year-old daughter, Athena (who respectively prefer Mozart and Miley Cyrus), Morales, a recent transplant from England, seeks to understand America and American values through the celebrity sites and attractions of Tennessee.
This celebration of Dolly and Americana is for anyone with an old country soul who relies on music to help understand the world, and it is guaranteed to make a Dolly Parton fan of anyone who has not yet fallen for her music or charisma.
"Mr. Klosterman makes good, smart company." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Sometimes when you're the co-pilot on a road trip, you're having such a good time talking to your buddy, gazing out the window, and listening to awesome music that you're a little reluctant to stop and get out when you actually reach your destination. That's what reading this book is like." -- Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly
"[Klosterman] writes with real articulacy and feeling about the relationship between rock music and the non-alpha males who worship it. . . . He's ferociously clever and ferociously self-deprecating, which makes him a superb companion. . . . I absolutely loved it. I don't suppose those guys in tight trousers and makeup have any idea they have such a great chronicler." -- William Leith, Evening Standard (London)
"I can't think of a more sheerly likable writer than Chuck Klosterman and his old-fashioned, all-American voice: big-hearted and direct, bright and unironic, optimistic and amiable, self-deprecating and reassuring -- with a captivating lack of fuss or pretension. He's also genuinely funny and I pretty much agree with everything he says."
-- -Bret Easton Ellis
"Thank God Chuck lives the life he does and writes the way he writes about it. It's not just autobiography; it's a vital form of truth, and he's the real thing."
and#8220;Morales has made a moving, provocative pilgrimage through the complex cultureand#8212;mainly southernand#8212;that produces country music and some of its outsized performers. I found her very readable.and#8221;
and#8220;Part quirky travelogue, part study of celebrity culture, part autobiography, Pilgrimage to Dollywood is a witty and self-aware account of being transplanted into an alien culture and deciding to revel in its (and oneand#8217;s own) otherness.and#8221;
and#8220;The heart of the book is Moralesand#8217;s personal meditation on the Dollywood shrine itself, the theme park for feminism, Christianity, and the Old South, its mythical log-cabin home, its worshippers at the Dolly Dollar cash-tills, and the reputation of the whole (deserved or not: discuss) as and#8216;the redneck Disneyland.and#8217; This is cultural criticism on holiday . . . frank, self-revelatory, comic and clever, revealing greater identification with the heroine than her day job traditionally allows.and#8221;
and#8220;and#8217;This is not a book written from the Olympic heights of an objective observer,and#8217; writes Morales in the introduction to her funny, engaging and erudite book. and#8216;I confess up front that I love Dolly Parton and her music.and#8217;and#8221;
and#8220;Itand#8217;ll make you want to experience your own pilgrimage, with the windows down and and#8216;Joleneand#8217; blaring.and#8221;
"Girl music nerds have been debating Beatles versus Stones and curating their collections for as long as male music snobs, but that perspective has been on low rotation; hail, hail, Courtney E. Smiths Record Collecting for Girls,
a mix tape of female rock history, playlists for getting busy and coping with heartbreak, and essential info such as how to decode a dudes CD collection (Yo La Tengo = romantically hapless; Leonard Cohen = asshole)." —Vanity Fair
"Courtney Smith has smarts and sass in spades. Her insights are as hilarious as they are thoughtful and when you finish reading this book, youll feel like you just got home from a perfect night out with your best friend. And youll want to listen to Prince. Full volume." —Megan Jasper, Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records "Record Collecting For Girls
is an invitation for all of you stereophiles, (who happen to be female), to make your own top five lists, and then, armed and ready with the book's fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever present boys' club of music snobs in your life." —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug
and This Is Not A Love Song
"Insightful and hilarious...Smith easily blends her own musical coming-of-age narrative with rock history...This is a book for anyone whose day has a soundtrack and for whom music reigns supreme." —Publishers Weekly
"A melodious road map...There is much here that is both interesting and infomative." —Kirkus
Building on the national bestselling success of "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs," pop culture writer Klosterman unleashes his best book yet--the story of his cross-country tour of sites where rock stars have died and his search for love, excitement, and the meaning of death.
Building on the national bestselling success of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
, preeminent pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman unleashes his best book yet—the story of his cross-country tour of sites where rock stars have died and his search for love, excitement, and the meaning of death.
For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock ‘n’ roll all the way. Within the span of twenty-one days, Chuck had three relationships end—one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion. He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard. From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted to know why the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing...and what this means for the rest of us.
Cambridge don Helen Moralesand#151;recently transplanted to a new job in Californiaand#151;has written a rousing travel book centering on the life and legacy of Tennessee native Dolly Parton.and#160;and#160; Apart from being a distinguished philologist, Morales is an avid country-music fan.and#160; For years she has especially admired the great country singer, songwriter, actress, and all-round smart cookie Dolly Parton. The Dolly Parton trail she traces is set entirely in Tennessee.and#160; It takes in key sites of Dollyand#8217;s life, from the Grand Ole Opry, where Dolly became a star, to Sevierville, her birthplace, to various homes occupied by Dolly and her gigantic family, to schools she attended. Helen also visits the institutions that have helped immortalize the singer, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, where relics of Dollyand#8217;s life are displayed as those of a saint.and#160; If this is starting to sound like a sacred pilgrimage, well, in a sense it is.and#160; It culminates at the town of Pigeon Forge, where the Dolly Parton Annual Parade is held, featuring the star herself as Grand Marshall, enthroned on a float.and#160; Helen was accompanied on her trip by her husband and their pre-pubescent daughter, Athena, who operates as aand#160; matter-of-fact foil to the authorand#8217;s own romantic and sometimes misguided English notions about American popular culture.and#160; Itand#8217;s good chemistry and makes for a hilarious read.
Former MTV music programmer and MTV blogger Courtney E. Smith delivers a humorous and edgy look at the world of music from the female perspective.
“Record Collecting for Girls
is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the books fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug
and This Is Not a Love Song
You never leave home without your iPod. Youre always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, youve listened to guys talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now.
Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasures and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate lifes glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too.
“Courtney Smith has smarts and sass in spades. Her insights are as hilarious as they are thoughtful, and when you finish reading this book, youll feel like you just got home from a perfect night out with your best friend. And youll want to listen to Prince. At full volume.” —Megan Jasper, Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records
About the Author
Courtney Smith has more than a decade of experience working in the music industry. She recently left MTV after spending 8 years as a music programmer and manager of label relations, where she was one of the executives who decided which videos went into rotation on all of MTV's 20 music platforms. She specialized in grooming upcoming bands and has worked closely with Death Cab for Cutie, the Shins, and Vampire Weekend, among others.
Table of Contents
1and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Caviar and Fish Sticks
2and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; A Series of Cravings
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Graceland and Other Shrines, Memphis
3and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Country Is as Country Does
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Loretta Lynnand#8217;s Ranch, Hurricane Mills
4and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Music City, USA
5and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Tennessee Mountain Homes
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Locust Ridge
6and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Color Me America
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Dixie Stampede, Pigeon Forge
7and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Sifting Specks of Gold
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Dollywood Amusement Park, the Great Smoky Mountains
Doing the Pilgrimage