I am VERY excited that my second book, Honky Tonk Debutante, is now available. It has been a lot of work, but I am so passionate about this genre of music I am discussing in it–and hopefully it’s an entertaining story to boot! Following you will find a synopsis of the book, links to two chapter excerpts, as well as reviewers’ quotes from the back cover. I look forward to hitting the road this spring for book events, telling stories from various chapters and connecting with friends and readers!
In Honky Tonk Debutante Christine Warren presents a history of honky-tonk music that is artfully woven together with her own personal narrative. A lifelong fan, Warren’s passion for the music is contagious, while her memoir-style anecdotes provide bold comedy, aching emotion, and good old-fashioned entertainment.
Bolstered by detailed research, each chapter offers a peek-behind-the-curtain at the evolution of this music genre. Warren explores the stories behind iconic songs and the stars who made them famous, stars like Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Willie Nelson. She describes the barriers that many country artists encountered including poverty, censorship, chauvinism, and often, their own personal demons. Warren concludes each chapter with a carefully selected five-song soundtrack—and the suggested playlist is worth the price of admission alone.
On a deeper level, this book illustrates that music doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Warren examines the related geography, untimely tragedies, natural disaster, popular opinion, and eccentric Southern characters that influenced honky-tonk music.
Honky Tonk Debutante is both educational and uproarious. At one point Warren is flexing her literary chops and the next throwing herself under the bus in hilarious fashion. Channeling the spirit of an overtly honest country song, there are moments of raw pathos, counter-punched by rollicking humor. The result is a fascinating take on the roots of honky-tonk. And while Christine Warren sets out to pay reverence to this music and its magic, she can’t help but show us the power of a well-told story along the way.
PRAISE FOR HONKY TONK DEBUTANTE:
“Don’t let the ‘as I care to tell it’ part of the subtitle fool you. This history of honky-tonk is as accurate and authoritative as any you’ll ever read. It is meticulously researched (197 sources, by my count). And has a sideshow that is as captivating as the main event. You want to know if Hank worked in an Alabama ship yard? Does Willie belong to a club that celebrates a crucial bone in the raccoon’s reproductive apparatus? Read this book and find out. As for Christine Warren’s own honky-tonk bona fides, her deftly intertwined memoir is a charmer, a heart-breaker, a spirit-lifter – and a hoot to boot.”
— James Seay, poet, essayist, honky-tonk habitué
“Christine recounts the history of country music vividly with intellect, curiosity, wit and humor from a unique viewpoint inspired by her love of a good song and her memories of the places and people who have shaped her life.”
— Marshall Terry, creative writing professor at SMU,
award-winning author, member Texas Institute of Letters
“I’m lifting my longneck to Christine Warren for boldly going where few have gone before to deliver an engaging account of honky tonk music and what it means to her.”
— John Lomax III, author of Nashville: Music City USA, music journalist
“Beats any bedtime story I’ve read in years.”
— Eddie Wilson, Armadillo World Headquarters founder, owner of Threadgill’s
- Honky Tonk Debutante
- Bottle Shock Publishing
- 448 pages
- ISBN 978-0-9911685-0-7