Hollow Rock

This fourth book in the Your Winding Daybreak Ways series opens: “We steamed into the city just as the blues began oozing up out of the juke joints into the white establishments lining Beale Street….” Hurricane Jim’s son, Todd, then explains, he has accompanied his father, the Governor, to Memphis to seek out “the latest sounds in the honky-tonks and gentlemen clubs and hear recent compositions of everything from hillbilly to jug and from ragtime to lively spirituals.” But as Todd later describes, “It is the ragged, guttural, personal lyrics of a lone guitarist sitting on a straightback chair in a dimly lit corner of a squalid speakeasy that speaks to him as no other music has ever done before.” And by the time he boards the train back to Nashville at the end of that fateful week, Todd knows how he wants to spend the rest of his life—“writing songs, traveling the circuit and playing the blues.” But as Todd and we soon learn “life has a way of tearing up track and bending the rails.” We then follow this frustrated bluesman’s remarkable journey of survival and resourcefulness, as he becomes a key player in the birth of jazz, the mutual fund industry, broadcast evangelism, and philanthropy.

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