He didn’t know it at the time, but Tim Ghianni’s love affair with Nashville and its musical artists began on a steamy night in 1972, when the twenty-year-old author had unsolicited help from honky-tonkin’ legends Bobby Bare and Shel Silverstein during an after-midnight “salvation” of the city. It was the beginning of a lifelong urban romance that Ghianni would pursue during a career as a journalist in Middle Tennessee, interviewing Nashville’s biggest stars and developing friendships with musicians of all kinds.
With a preface by Bobby Bare and a foreword by Peter Cooper, Pilgrims, Pickers and Honky-Tonk Heroes is Tim Ghianni’s love letter and nostalgic swan song, recounting the storied musical history of Nashville as well as the dramatic changes the city has seen over the course of fifty years. The Nashville of today—with one hundred newcomers a day from places like Los Angeles and New York and fresh waves of musicians making up a new modern soundtrack—is not the same city he made his home in 1972, for better and for worse.
Time changes everything, even a beloved American city, but this briskly told and warmly remembered book recounts the countless friends, adventures, and anecdotes that capture the essence of Music City across a half-century.
Tim Ghianni has been a professional writer since 1974, when he began a thirty-four-year stint as an award-winning editor, reporter, photographer, and columnist for newspapers in Nashville and middle Tennessee. He is now a freelance journalist and has authored books about his newspaper career and the decline of the industry, an alien invasion of a tiny Kentucky town, and his mother’s death. He and his wife Suzanne live in the middle of Nashville, where they raised two children.
Tim is a wordsmith unlike any other. We’ve shared some good times together and he encapsulates the experiences as if they were yesterday. A truly gifted writer and friend.
[Tim's] unique style of writing gives insight to all the personalities and quirks, good and bad, of a lot of famous people . . . and so many more magic revelations during a period of time that will never be forgotten.
A fine journalist’s journey through the golden age of Nashville’s music industry. Tim Ghianni was close to many of the era’s greatest artists and he gives us a wide open look at how they connected us with the music of heartland America.