Holiday Gift Guide: Photo Books Are Music To Your Eyes

This appeared in USA Today - December 10, 2008

Country Music: The Masters
By Marty Stuart (Sourcebooks, $50)

Musician Stuart, who owns the world's largest private collection of country music memorabilia, serenades the genre's pioneers, stars and culture with this opulent coffee-table book. Many of his photos, including the ghostly cover of Johnny Cash taken four days before his death, are published here for the first time. He shares his posters, elaborate costumes (Hank Snow's Nudie suits, Dottie West's rhinestone pumps) and guitars. (Woody Guthrie's fiddle is crudely carved, "This machine killed 10 fascists.") Stuart mostly gravitates to the grand figures of country, from an irreverent Jerry Lee Lewis to a spunky Tammy Wynette. A companion CD contains "Dark Bird," Stuart's Cash tribute, performed at the funeral but never released.

By Edna Gundersen

Return To Articles Return To Home Page