Book Review: More Songwriters On Songwriting by Paul Zollo

9780306817991_moresongwritersonsongwriting_pb More Songwriters On Songwriting Paul Zollo (Da Capo) One of Loretta Lynn’s greatest regrets was discarding six unrecorded verses to “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” her signature song from 1969. “I had a whole story going,” she tells Paul Zollo in More Songwriters On Songwriting. “I wish I’d never thrown them away. If I’d kept them, I could record them now and put them back in the song.” You can sense that ache and remorse as she describes the very real stories behind the intensely autobiographical lyrics. It may be one of the best and most influential country songs ever penned, but Lynn still hears it as incomplete, forever unfinished. It’s a vivid moment in a big book, not merely an intriguing bit of trivia but also a revealing glimpse into the relationship between songwriter and song. That confounding dynamic is at the heart of Zollo’s book, which collects interviews with fifty artists covering a range of genres and generations — from Joan Armatrading to Rob Zombie, Paul Simon to Sia, Paul Anka to Maurice White. As the title implies, the collection is a sequel to Songwriters On Songwriting, which can still be found in classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and touring vans nearly twenty years after its original publication. Like its predecessor, More Songwriters respects the essential mystery of songwriting. An enthusiastic and affable interviewer, Zollo is fascinated by the process of marrying words to melodies, but he neither pokes nor prods his subjects. Instead, he encourages them to speak openly about their creative lives: fickle inspiration is a constant theme, as is the joyful terror exerted by a blank page. Perhaps because Zollo himself... Sign In to Keep Reading

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