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Hank Hung the Moon: . . .and Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts Hardcover – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rheta Grimsley Johnson has covered the South for over three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist. She writes about ordinary but fascinating people, mining for universal meaning in individual stories. In past reporting for United Press International, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a number of other regional newspapers, Johnson has won national awards. In 1986, she was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. In 1991, she was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Syndicated today by King Features of New York, Johnson's column appears in about 50 papers nationwide. She is the author of several books, including America's Faces (1987) and Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz (1989). In 2000, she wrote the text for a book of photographs entitled Georgia. A native of Colquitt, Georgia, Johnson grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, studied journalism at Auburn University, and has lived and worked in the South all of her career. In December 2010, she married retired Auburn University history professor Hines Hall. They live in Iuka, Mississippi.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: NewSouth Books (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588382842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588382849
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,442,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian on March 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like Hank Williams or would like to know more about him, or if you have any kind of real Southern connection, you will really enjoy this book! It is historical, musical, personal, and witty. Just a lot of fun to read. I was able to make a number of personal connections to her story myself because of living in Alabama and Georgia most of my life, and having gone and taught at Auburn. I did not pay much attention to Hank growing up, or even later - rock and roll came along at age 12 and though country music was popular in my blue collar neighborhood, it was not for me. But, one night hearing "Cold, Cold Heart" made me go back and listen to all the Williams songs that had been in the air in Birmingham when I was growing up in the fifties. Genius is a word that is overused, but he was one. Anyway, to reiterate, this book is really a joy to read. You will learn a lot about Hank and his short life, and be entertained by Rheta Grimsley Johnson's lively and funny tale telling.

Ian Hardin
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Margie Read VINE VOICE on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For many years I have enjoyed Rheta Grimsley Johnson's columns as well as her other books. With this book, she continues her keen observitations well chosen phrases, and, as always, she tells it like it is. With Hank Hung the Moon Rheta travels back in time and captures many memories of her own, those of Hank and some of my mine. I've also enjoyed Hank's songs for years without actually thinking about why. His daughter Jett Williams (aka Kathy Dupree) was our neighbor during her teens,and I followed her long battle to claim her rightful place in Hank's life. In his all too short life, Hank used his great gift of warming the coldest of hearts with simple yet profound songs. Rheta also uses her new book to record her own memoirs. Country music has changed so much in recent years, and not for the better, and it is refreshing think again of their meaning and to play once more the songs that made Hank Williams a true artist I got out my album to play these classic songs again, and they are, as Rheta says, better than ever. I think I'll keep the album handy. If you've ever been moved by the music of Hank Williams, you will enjoy this book. If not, get it anyway, it may open new doors for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Brown on April 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admire this book immensely and will recommend it both to readers who're held and haunted by the music of Hank Williams and also to those who might care to see how a first-rate creative journalist goes about her work. In weaving together her life and Hank's, without getting in the way of her main subject, and then by working into the pattern stories of pilgrims Chaucer might have chosen, the author demonstrates a high and rare order of talent. The writing flows so smoothly and the focus shifts so artfully the talent may be--probably should be--missed. But it's not missed by me. I think of what Auden said about William Butler Yeats, after the great Irish heart stopped beating: "He became his admirers." That is exactly what has happened to Hank Williams: His life continues in his admirers, and Rheta Johnson is an admirer amongst others mystified by the genius that illuminated American life and music. Obviously, this display of intelligence and empathy reflects long years in the journalistic version of what Yeats called "the foul rag and bone shop of the heart." Out of that shop, now and then, comes music like Hank's and a book like Rheta's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Wilson Trivino on May 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Growing up in the south there are some things you simply can not get away from and one of those is the sounds of Hank Williams. In Hank Hung the Mood by Rheta Grimsley Johnson delves into this larger than life figure who life was cut too short.
What makes this book more interesting is not all the tidbits of Hank Williams trivia but the odyssey that Rheta makes in rediscovering her roots.
She speaks to love, lost love, and new love as she intertwines with the wild characters of her life. This book also captures some of the southern charm that mystifies those in the north but those in the south hold true.
As a newspaper reporter Rheta has been able to experience a wide range of events that resonate with the sharing of the southern cultural spirit.
Hank Hung the Mood is a touching memoir and is a definite joy to read. I only wish it came with an accompanied CD so that the sounds of Hank Williams could mute the outside world and bring to life the southern grace that we in the south love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spoiler on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a Hank Williams fan, I looked forward to reading this book. Although there was some good info on Country Music's greatest song writer, I found the book to be only average at best. The author could have included more information about the life and music of Hank Williams while still tying Hank to the author's life. I should have been typed off as to the quality of the book when the author liked Jett Williams more than Hank Williams Jr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harry C. Copeland on September 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hank Hung the Moon, a warmly, informally written memoir by a top journalist and author Rita Grimsley Johnson, interweaves nuggets about her life with those of Hank and other famous people she held high regards for, especially Hank. The book is clearly a work of love, nostalgic and eulogistic in turn. She should have included a CD of Hank's performances with the book--a true collector's item. I obtained my FIRE copy from Kindle on an enthusiastic reommendation from a retired minister-cousin of mine.
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