Dreaming Out Loud: Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Wade Hayes, and the Changing Face of Nashville

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9780380975785: Dreaming Out Loud: Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Wade Hayes, and the Changing Face of Nashville

Hours before his first show in years, Garth Brooks, the best-selling recording artist in American history, stands atop his giant stage and describes his paralyzing inner fears. Minutes after receiving an award, Wynonna Judd, the feisty performer with the fragile soul, retreats to the back of her mother's restaurant and collapses in tearful frustration. The night his new album is released, Wade Hayes, the handsome young star with the haunted past, returns to his hometown for a bittersweet reunion. Over the last several years, country music has undergone a sweeping revolution-and one writer was granted unprecedented access to witness private moments of that revolution and to chronicle the genre's biggest stars as they changed the face of American music and the town that country calls home.

Hours before his first show in years, Garth Brooks, the best-selling recording artist in American history, stands atop his giant stage and describes his paralyzing inner fears. Minutes after receiving an award, Wynonna Judd, the feisty performer with the fragile soul, retreats to the back of her mother's restaurant and collapses in tearful frustration. The night his new album is released, Wade Hayes, the handsome young star with the haunted past, returns to his hometown for a bittersweet reunion. Over the last several years, country music has undergone a sweeping revolution-and one writer was granted unprecedented access to witness private moments of that revolution and to chronicle the genre's biggest stars as they changed the face of American music and the town that country calls home.

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About the Author:

Bruce Feiler is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including Abraham, Where God Was Born, America's Prophet, The Council of Dads, and The Secrets of Happy Families. He is a columnist for the New York Times, a popular lecturer, and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and twin daughters.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A cleverly constructed look at how the country-music industry has changed some of its most important artists and how they have changed the industry. Feiler (Under the Big Top, 1995, etc.) covers the full range of the Nashville scene from the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Association Awards to issues such as racism and greed. Having separated the industry into parts, he uses three particularly influential entertainersGarth Brooks, Wade Hayes, and Wynonna Juddto show how recording artists affect, and in turn are affected by, some of the most significant aspects of the business. For instance, the importance of album cover photography is demonstrated through the experiences of the shy newcomer Hayes, who feels uncomfortable with both the posing process and with his sex-symbol status. When Feiler looks at concerts, he uses Brooks as his lens, showing a performer who, despite his enormous popularity, is fearful that his career could end at any moment. And inevitably, when Feiler addresses the subject of family, his focus turns to Wynonna, whose mother, Naomi, tried even in retirement to run every aspect of her daughter's career and life. Feiler also writes about other artists and Nashville personalitiesparticularly those who have had a strong impact on the development of the music and the industry. There are sections on the death of Minnie Pearl and how the entire city turned out for her funeral, as well as portraits of such influential figures as Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings and of the gossip columnist Hazel Smith. Feiler pays a little too much attention to Brooks and not quite enough to Wynonna. Still, this is a charming read that will humanize Nashville and some of its most visible and influential inhabitants. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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