Wednesday, March 09, 2016

R.I.P. John Morthland

There have been quite a few books that have played a part in my musical journey across the genres.  Books written by Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh,  Peter Guralnick, Nelson George, record review ones by Robert Christgau, The Rolling Stone History of Rock books.  And many others.

Near the top of that list was 1984's Best of Country Music by John Morthland.  A wonderful history of Country Music up to that point, told through reviews of what Morthland considered the genres best 750 records.   No other book written on Country music shaped my views like that one. And in 1984 my knowledge of that genre, when it came to its history, wasn't that great.

John Morthland died yesterday.  I was friends with him on Facebook and was always delighted at what he recommended on his page.

Morthland did much more than write about Country music.  He wrote about other genres for Rolling Stone and Creem.  Edited a Lester Bangs anthology.  

Read this Interview  from the early 00's for a better bio.

But make sure you track down the Best Of Country Music.  It can be had for a great price at the usual places.  Oddly enough, the book was never updated nor reissued.

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