A Guitar and a Pen

This unique collection presents, for the first time, the literary work of some of the best storytellers in the world: the songwriters who cut and polish tales down to sparkling three minute gems. A blend of fiction and nonfiction, humor and poignancy, these tales cover a wide range of styles and country artists. 

Nashville, Music City USA, is a place where entertainment and artistic fortune are built on the bedrock of songwriters. It has been said in Nashville over and over that "It all begins with a song." Country music's wordsmiths have shaped and molded some of the greatest stories ever told into three and a half minutes that fit neatly on the radio. The editors of A Guitar and a Pen set out to answer the question, "If they can put all that into a song, what could and would they do with a blank piece of paper and a pen?" The answer lies in this remarkable collection of creativity and insight. 

Co-edited by Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South, and by John Bohlinger and Justin Stelter, A Guitar and a Pen features a stunning array of talent. This collections features contributions by Charlie Daniels ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia"), Tom T. Hall ("Harper Valley P.T.A."), Bob McDill ("Song of the South"), Tia Sillers ("There's Your Trouble," "I Hope You Dance"), Gary Nicholson ("One More Last Chance," "She Couldn't Change Me"), Mark D. Sanders ("Daddy's Money," "It Matters To Me"), Bob DiPiero ("Cleopatra, Queen of Denial," "You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl"), Kris Kristofferson ("For The Good Times," "Sunday Morning Coming Down"), Hal Ketchum ("Hang In There Superman," "Sure Love"), Bobby Braddock ("He Stopped Loving Her Today"), and Janis Ian ("Society's Child") to name a few. 

In "A Rock," Kris Kristofferson tells the insightful and humorous story of how an explicit natural rock formation brings chaos to a small farming town out west. Collection editor Robert Hicks presents "Gathering Together," a quirky contemporary story of a Southern family. This is just a handful of the wonderful contributions to this entertaining collection.

Nashville: The Pilgrims of Guitar Town

Photography by Michel Arnaud. Text and Stories by Robert Hicks.

A photographic portrait of Nashville, Tennessee, and of the residents and newcomers who have all bee seduced by the promise of 'Music City, USA'. Photographer Michel Arnaud and writer Robert Hicks wander beyond the Grand Ole Opry and Music Row to a place filled with high hopes, hard work, and, more than anything else, guitars. Likening the city to 'Hollywood in the 1920s', Hicks introduced Arnaud to residents famous and infamous, from the struggling pickers still waiting to be discovered to local legends who bask in the spotlight.