Cover image for Goodbye, little rock and roller
Goodbye, little rock and roller
Chapman, Marshall.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 259 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML420.C4536 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Goodbye, Little Rock and Rollerwas a 2004 SEBA Book Award finalist, and a 2004 Book Critics Circle Award finalist.   Goodbye, Little Rock and Rolleris an inventive and original book from Nashville singer/songwriter Chapman, who uses twelve of her most resonant songs as entry points to many of her life's adventures. Not a memoir, but a map of the places Chapman's been and what went through her mind as she was traveling there, this book is funny and tender, warm and exuberant. Raised a debutante in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the daughter of a mill owner and firmly part of proper society, Chapman became a rocker at a time when women weren't yet picking up electric guitars. She is "a living example," as one reviewer wrote, "of the triumph of rock and roll over good breeding." From New Year's Eve in 1978 when Jerry Lee Lewis gave Chapman advice on how to live life ("I mean it's one thing when your mother says 'Honey don't you think you'd better slow down?' But when The Killer voices his concern....") to the time her black maid Cora Jeter took the seven-year-old to see Elvis,Goodbye, Little Rock and Rollergoes to the moments when the influences on Chapman's songwriting and psyche were cemented. And it winningly reveals how the creative process comes from life: one of Chapman's favorite songs was written after waking up facedown in her underpants in her front-yard vegetable garden. Revealing intimate rock and roll moments and memories of a South Carolina childhood, Marshall Chapman is a fresh voice firmly in the Southern tradition.

Author Notes

Marshall Chapman has released eight critically acclaimed albums and written songs that have been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, Joe Cocker, and Wynonna. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Legendary country and rock singer/songwriter Chapman has seen many of her more than 250 songs ("Betty's Bein' Bad," "The Perfect Partner") made famous by other artists like Jimmy Buffett, while her own recording career never went beyond cult status. This wild and woolly memoir deserves to gain her a much wider audience than just her loyal fans. Structured as a series of essays about 12 of her songs "that have the best stories around them," this is a hilarious and entertaining look at life by a fascinating 40-something artist who is not afraid to admit that she wrote one of her favorite songs ("Rode Hard and Put Up Wet") after waking up "around noon facedown in my front yard-which was a vegetable garden-wearing nothing but my underpants." The rebellious child of an upper-middle-class family in South Carolina, Chapman moves from college life at Vanderbilt to Nashville in the early 1970s, "about when the ' 60s hit the South," just in time to be a part of the "outlaw" country music era along with Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson ("hell, back then, Willie didn't even bathe on a regular basis"), and she gives excellent insight into the rowdy ways of that much storied era. She also uses the creation of other songs to discuss everything from her "career of dating criminals" to her current sobriety with her true love, a man who wouldn't be fazed if Chapman chopped wood "with nothing on but a pair of men's boxer shorts." (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Chapman, born to an aristocratic Southern family in 1949, had become a modestly successful recording artist and measurably more successful rock and country songwriter by the late 1970s. Working in Nashville during the birth of "outlaw country," she kept personal and professional company with the likes of Waylon Jennings, Joe South, and linchpin producer Jack Clement. In 12 chapters, Chapman parallels 12 periods of her extraordinary life with the lyrics of 12 of her songs (e.g., "Texas Is Everywhere," "A Mystery to Me") and, as a bonus, describes insightfully and in detail how she came to write each one. Her autobiographical (though not steadily chronological) tale is by turns troubling, touching, and hilarious, and her writing style-in both lyrics and prose-is engaging, exuberant, and eminently readable. As Chapman's overall impact as an artist has been (to date) modest, this is not a necessary purchase for pop music biography collections; however, as a guide, an inspiration, and a cautionary tale for aspiring songwriters, it is most highly recommended.-Bill Piekarski, Lackawanna, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.