Eleven Chords And The Truth: Bobby Braddock Looks Back

In August, I was privileged to engage in a visit with someone I truly admire. Truth is I’d barely met this fellow before I cracked his latest autobiographical tome. Still, at book’s end, I slapped down my bookmark with a bittersweet sigh, grinning as if I’d just savored a marathon chat with a treasured pal. When it comes to Music Row songwriting legends, no name chimes with more resonance than Bobby Braddock. After all, this is the cat co-responsible (with Curly Putman) for “He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today” — generally considered the greatest country song of all time. However, the George Jones classic is merely one title in a six-decade-long hit parade. Curiously however, in his new memoir, A Life On Nashville’s Music Row (Vanderbilt/CMF Press), Braddock chooses not to share his tune-crafting secrets or unveil the backroom politics behind the hits. During a follow-up phone conversation, the native Floridian explained with self-deprecating candor, “I could have written more about the craft. But my craft? What do I know? There’s so many different ways you can write a song.” The author chooses instead to reveal some juicy tidbits about some of country music’s most colorful personalities. He also cracks open…

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