The Starday Story: Book Update

In July last year we told you about a forthcoming book by Nathan Gibson about Starday Records, The Starday Story: The House That Country Music Built.  We have received news today that it has now been published.

Published by the University Press of Mississippi, The Starday Story: The House That Country Music Built (ISBN-10: 1604738308 ISBN-13: 978-1604738308) consists of 272 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 60 black and white illustrations, a bibliography, a discography and an index.

Gibson interviewed some bluegrass artists, including Bill Clifton, Aubrey Holt, Jesse McReynolds and Roni Stoneman, and other knowledgeable individuals who are well known in the bluegrass music world, including Neil V. Rosenberg and Dick Spottswood, in the course of his research.

Here is what Rosenberg and Spottswood have to say about the book …..

“The story of Starday, Nashville maverick of the fifties and sixties, is told well in this book for which Nathan Gibson was fortunate to have the help of Starday’s glory years’ president, the late Don Pierce. At a time of turmoil in Nashville, Pierce found ways to record and market a diversity of gritty music that’s stood the test of time: rockabilly, gospel, bluegrass, honky-tonk, old-time, historic country and more. Pierce’s own comments and insights mix enthusiasm and business acumen in unique ways that make for fascinating reading. Gibson’s meticulous research pulls in new threads and offers fresh insights into the workings of mid-20th century popular music.”

Neil V. Rosenberg, professor emeritus of folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland and co-author of The Music of Bill Monroe and Bluegrass Odyssey: A Documentary in Pictures and Words, 1966-86.

“Starday is arguably the greatest maverick country music label of the 1950s-60s. Despite minimal investments in sessions and infrastructure, Starday produced lasting classics by George Jones, the Stanley Brothers, Cowboy Copas, Minnie Pearl, the Country Gentlemen, Ola Belle Reed, Charlie Monroe, Red Sovine, the Blue Sky Boys, Buzz Busby, Harry Choates, Johnny Bond, Carl Story, Jim & Jesse, the Stoneman Family, the Lewis Family, and many more, from celebrities to obscurities. Nate Gibson quotes Starday CEO Don Pierce extensively as he illuminates Starday’s beginnings, growth, successes, failures and demise. This fascinating account includes rare insights into country music and the industry it built over half a century ago.”

Dick Spottswood, author of Banjo on the Mountain: Wade Mainer’s First Hundred Years and producer and online host of The Dick Spottswood Show, www.bluegrasscountry.org

Once they receive stock, the book will be available from both online and brick-and-mortar bokkseller, or from the publisher.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.

  • Gee, what a beautiful banjo Neil is playing. 😉

  • Indeed. Isn’t that the Neil Rosenberg model? No, wait…