For the sake of the song : essays on Townes Van Zandt /

Publication Type:



University of North Texas Press,, Denton, Texas, United States , p.v, 233 pages ; (2022)

Call Number:



(OCoLC)fst00881424, (OCoLC)fst00881442, (OCoLC)fst01004379, Country music, Country music., Country musicians, Country musicians., fast, History and criticism., Lyricists, Lyricists., Texas.


Includes bibliographical references and index.'After death, Townes Van Zandt found the success that he sabotaged during life. Diagnosed as bipolar, an alcoholic, and perennially unreliable, Van Zandt died of heart failure at the age of fifty-two on New Year's Day in 1997. He released sixteen albums during life. Since his death, several more albums have been released, both by and in honor of him. Many articles and books have been published about him, including Robert Hardy's A Deeper Blue by UNT Press. Van Zandt, the self-destructive wandering troubadour, was long underappreciated but is now a favorite among critics and fans. His best-known songs are "Pancho and Lefty," covered by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, and "If I Needed You." Steve Earle's 2009 cover album, Townes, jump-started a slate of tributes, including those by Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams, and John Prine. For the Sake of the Song collects ten essays on Townes Van Zandt using a variety of approaches. Contributors examine, for example, his use of the minor key, the psychological dimension of his song "High, Low and In Between," and his reception in the Austin music scene. His relationships receive consideration, as well, through the observations of Richard Dobson, another "outlaw" singer-songwriter, with whom he toured in the Hemmer Ridge Mountain Boys. An introduction by editors Ann Norton Holbrook and Dan Beller-McKenna provides an overview of Van Zandt's literary excellence and philosophical wisdom, rare among even the best songwriters.'--Publisher description.Introduction / Ann Norton Holbrook and Dan Beller-McKenna -- Highway kind : Townes Van Zandt's legacy / Brian T. Atkinson -- Townes Van Zandt : the anxiety, artifice, and audacity of influence / Robert Earl Hardy -- "My sorrow is real even though I can't change my plans" : Townes Van Zandt, "dramatic" form, and gender / Ann Norton Holbrook -- Macabre and mirth : two sides of Townes Van Zandt / Jim Clark -- Philosophy in a minor key : Townes Van Zandt and the minor modes / Dan Beller-McKenna -- Meter as meaning : psychological interpretation in Townes Van Zandt's "High, low and in between" / Nathan Fleshner -- Shifting time and cinematic images : Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and "Pancho and Lefty" / Blase S. Scarnati -- "Overproduction" and Townes Van Zandt's early albums / Travis D. Stimeling -- Mental illness and the reception of Townes Van Zandt in the Austin music scene / Bruce Quaglia -- Townes in his own words : excerpts from Richard Dobson's The Gulf Coast boys / introduced and edited by Norie Guthrie.