Peter Guralnick, dean of rock-and roll-storytellers, writes in the introduction to Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride, “Peter Cooper has always been in the mix.” Whether spending time with Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson, playing bass for Loretta Lynn, discussing songwriting with Taylor Swift, or introducing the Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter to Porter Wagoner, Peter Cooper has continually found himself in the presence of music royalty and the recipient of countless intimate conversations, asides, and confidences.
In Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride, Cooper chronicles his many “in the mix” tales since arriving in Nashville in 2000 to cover the country music scene for the Tennessean. Filled with untold stories and newly revealed histories, it is an informal yet well-studied inside view of country music’s greatest characters and pivotal moments. Now a senior director at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cooper’s stories are akin to a curated behind-the-scenes tour of country music.
With a gem on every page, Cooper has crafted a perceptive, smiling, and atypical immersion into the world of country music that will keep any music fan engaged with its wit, passion, and authenticity.