From Library Journal
In 1943, 16-year-old Johnny Bragg was sentenced to six consecutive life terms in the Tennessee State Prison for raping his girlfriend. Rather than wither in anger, the teenager joined the prison's gospel group, the Prisonaires, and wrote the hits "Just Walkin' in the Rain" and "Rolling Stone." (None other than Elvis Presley was a fan of the group's vocal style.) Warner, a Grammy Award-winning music publisher and author of The Billboard Book of American Singing Groups, 1940-1990, relates Bragg's tale with sensitivity. Most intriguing is his coverage of Bragg's relationship with progressive white prison warden James Edwards and former Governor of Tennessee Frank Clement, who pardoned Bragg in 1959. The two officials unabashedly believed that rehabilitation was in everyone's best interest, and Bragg's story demonstrates why. Recommended for music libraries, especially those in the South, as well as social science collections.DWilliam G. Kenz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Jay Warner is a six-time Grammy Award winning music publisher and writer. A devoted musical historian, he is the author of Billboard's Book of American Singing Groups and How to Have Your Hit Song Published. He resides in Los Angeles.