Note to self: don’t schedule any more shared book signings with veteran professional entertainers. Now don’t get me wrong. It was an honor to work the Illinois Press booth at the International Bluegrass Music Association convention in Nashville with Roni Stoneman. Likewise an honor to meet her. I saw her on TV as a kid on Hee Haw and later became aware of how full-tilt amazing the Stoneman Family band was. But when Roni showed up wearing a white silk cowgirl shirt with fringe and armed with a banjo, I didn’t stand a chance with my blazer and my Sharpie. Fortunately I saw a bunch of old friends at IBMA, which I’ve been attending for years. And I’m happy to say there was ample interest among the bluegrassers in the WSM story. But next year I’m either going to get myself a banjo or a white cowgirl shirt. That ought to draw a crowd right?
Craig Havighurst is a Nashville-based writer, editor, and producer whose company String Theory Media specializes in music documentaries. He is the author of the recently published University of Illinois Press book Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City.