They Came To Nashville

Vanderbilt University Press
Country Music Foundation Press
October 2010

Foreword by Peter Guralnick

2011 SIBA Book Award nominee

Marshall Chapman knows Nashville. A musician, songwriter, and author with nearly a dozen albums and a bestselling memoir under her belt, Chapman has lived and breathed Music City for over forty years. Her friendships with those who helped make Nashville one of the major forces in American music culture is unsurpassed. And in her new book, They Came to Nashville, the reader is invited to see Marshall Chapman as never before–as music journalist extraordinaire.

In They Came to Nashville, Chapman records the personal stories of musicians shaping the modern history of music in Nashville, from the mouths of the musicians themselves. The trials, tribulations, and evolution of Music City are on display, as she sits down with influential figures like Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, and Miranda Lambert, and a dozen other top names, to record what brought each of them to Nashville and what inspired them to persevere. The book culminates in a hilarious and heroic attempt to find enough free time with Willie Nelson to get a proper interview. Instead, she’s brought along on his raucous 2008 tour, where she winds up onstage in Beaumont, Texas, singing “Good-Hearted Woman” with Willie.


Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller

St. Martin’s Press
September 2003

Foreword by Lee Smith

2004 Southern Book Critics Circle Award finalist
2004 SIBA Book Award finalist
SIBA Bestseller

“Raised a debutante in Spartanburg, South Carolina, singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman became a rocker at a time when women didn’t pick up electric guitars. She is ‘a living example,’ one reviewer wrote, ‘of the triumph of rock and roll over good breeding.’ Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller uses twelve of Chapman’s most resonant songs as launching pads for stories that take us where she’s been and reveal what went through her mind while she was traveling there. From New Year’s Eve in 1978 when Jerry Lee Lewis gave Chapman advice on how to live life to the time her black maid, Cora Jeter, took the seven-year-old to see Elvis, this book looks back on intimate rock-and-roll moments and memories of a South Carolina girlhood.”