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A Guitar and a Pen: Stories by Country Music's Greatest Songwriters    by John Bohlinger, Robert Hicks & Justin Stelter order for
Guitar and a Pen
by John Bohlinger
Order:  USA  Can
Center Street, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Leslie McKee

Country music is all about telling a story. A Guitar and a Pen is composed of stories (some fact, some fiction) written by some of Nashville's greatest songwriters. The Foreword is by country superstar, Vince Gill.

Robbie Fulks shares his experience at a high school career day - where no one knew who he was! Tom T. Hall tells a story about fulfilling a man's dying wish (involving a rabbit). Other tales address topics such as a floating fork, a box of love letters, a Martin guitar and a woman killing a man with a chainsaw.

One of the best stories is about Bill Monroe (the founder of Bluegrass music), as told by Hazel Smith. Bill went to the White House for the Kennedy Awards. While there, he insisted upon receiving a claim check for his jacket. Upon meeting Frank Sinatra, he repeatedly asked him who he was. And there is a funny incident that happens afterwards at the airport.

Most of these stories are enjoyable, though a few were a bit awkward to follow. This reviewer would have also enjoyed having these songwriters share the stories behind some of their biggest hits.

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