Wednesday, January 15, 2014
"Chinaberry Sidewalks: A Memoir by Rodney Crowell
By Rodney Crowell
Sad and True Love Story, Worthy of Its Soundtrack
As Crowell tells it, Acuff graciously gave the senior Crowells’ love song its final verse. “The courtly superstar paid rapt attention,” he writes. Then Acuff told Cauzette, now widowed, that “his most treasured memory from that evening was of two young lovebirds whose faces shone from the audience with the light of love everlasting.” If the heartache and sweet eloquence of this story go straight to your tear ducts, you will not be alone.
Crowell attaches near-apocalyptic impact to his experiences watching Pentecostal preaching (a particularly bravura chapter) and witnessing a Jerry Lee Lewis performance and listening to a Jimmy Reed record. He appreciates the showmanship of each. He recalls being stunned by his first glimpse of Johnny Cash in concert, making it sound credible that Cash could make the sun come out after a violent storm. And, by the way, that’s about as close as “Chinaberry Sidewalks” cares to get to the Cash family. Crowell’s book discreetly avoids discussing his marriage to Rosanne Cash, just as her recent memoir, “Composed,” stuck to their professional producer-singer collaboration and emphasized music over domestic details.
at 11:55 AM