Please join us in welcoming author Lilah Suzanne and the Blended Notes blog tour. What better way to introduce a book about music and musicians than to reveal the MC’s favorite songs? We’re sharing that with all of you today, as well as a giveaway, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
Grady Dawson Shares His Five Favorite Songs
As a musician, picking five favorite songs is near impossible for me; I pick five and then a few minutes later remember different ones and have to change it all again. How can I possibly choose? Five songs out of all the amazing songs out there? So, to narrow things down I’ve picked my favorite songs from my childhood. These were the artists and music playing on the radio in the kitchen in the mornings and on my Memaw’s old records on stormy afternoons. This is the music that’s as much a part of me as my blue eyes or tendency towards impulsiveness; it may as well be coded into my DNA.
Dolly Parton – “Dumb Blonde”
Thing is, Dolly isn’t just proud of who she is—every gaudy, over-the-top, loud, buxom inch—she revels in it, and “Dumb Blonde” may as well be her opening salvo. Any insult or consequence over her refusal to conform to other people’s ideas of who she should be, Dolly just turns into a point of pride. And as a queer boy growing up in rural Tennessee, I just knew Dolly was speaking directly to me. Hell yeah, I’m different. And I love it.
Johnny Cash – “Lead Me Gently Home”
Johnny was a rebel and a trouble maker, tormented by demons and addictions, and yet he also had tender, soulful spirit; and never more so than on his hymns. People can be more than one thing, is what I learned from Johnny. And no one needs to be defined by their troubles. “Lead Me Gently Home” played frequently on Sunday mornings in my childhood home, though Memaw would blast “Folsom Prison Blues” just often.
Roy Orbison – “In Dreams”
Though Roy started in Nashville, he didn’t stay there, yet his music never quite lost its country soul. But the real stand out is that voice of his: ethereal, operatic, haunting. I can only hope for the raw emotion that Roy Orbison infused into every beautiful, aching note. “In Dreams” has been on my break up song playlist since I got walloped into the dirt for trying to kiss a girl in Kindergarten.
Charley Pride – “I Ain’t All Bad”
In a genre than tends to prize looking the same and being the same, Charley Pride has been out there defining county music for over five decades now, and paving the way for any who dares to stand out in crowd of conformity. Country music wouldn’t be what it is without him, and I certainly wouldn’t be the artist I am.
Waylon Jennings – “Luckenbach, Texas”
I always thought this Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson duet was a love song between two men, about them going back to where they fell in love to rekindle their romance, so of course I listened to it over and over until the record gave out. Maybe it wasn’t, or that wasn’t the intention. But that’s beauty of art, it’s whatever you need it to be. And I needed that song.
About the Book
Grady Dawson’s future looks bright. He’s at the top of his country music career, has a close-knit group of friends who have become his Nashville family, and has found solid ground in his personal life as he plans his intimate, private wedding with Nico, his stylist-turned-lover, turned love of his life. It seems Grady has finally left his difficult childhood and tumultuous youth behind. That is, until his past shows up on his doorstep, news of his upcoming nuptials is leaked to the media, and his record company levels demands that challenge his integrity as an artist and as a person. The foundation of Grady’s new life begins to crumble, and fast. Will he be forced to make the ultimate choice between a private life with Nico and the public demands of his career?
About the Author
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer from North Carolina, she spends most of her time behind a computer screen, but on the rare occasion she ventures outside she enjoys museums, libraries, live concerts, and quiet walks in the woods. Lilah is the author of the Interlude Press books Spice, Pivot and Slip, Broken Records, and Burning Tracks.