GET HOT OR GO HOME by Lisa Rebecca Gubernick


Trisha Yearwood: The Making of a Nashville Star
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 Engrossing account of the early career of a promising country singer, from small-town beginnings to careful grooming as potential superstar. Patricia Yearwood's fine first record, Trisha Yearwood (1991), followed years of careful prepping and self-management as a music- business major, backup singer, and lead singer in a bowling-alley band. But launching Yearwood to megastardom would require a higher order of resources: acquiring the right handlers; developing a stronger, more sexual image and presence; deciding just how ``country'' she should be. With a fine eye for detail and much wit, Gubernick (Squandered Fortune, 1990) chronicles this difficult process, highlighted by Yearwood's acquisition of Ken ``We Are The World'' Kragen as manager; endless, exhausting touring with her band; and efforts to get her sold on the Today show and through a new Revlon perfume. Gubernick also offers a fascinating account of the making of Yearwood's masterful second album, which drew high critical praise but disappointing sales. Along the way, the author brings us into contact with many of country's biggest figures and provides a solid history of the country-music industry. Throughout, Yearwood remains obscure--but in some ways that's fortunate, since our desire to know her draws us on. That we still don't know the budding superstar by book's end comes as no surprise: Gubernick has made clear how a sophisticated star-making machinery can obscure both message and messenger, sometimes despite the best intentions of talented handlers. An illuminating investigation of country music--and of the ``product placement'' that shapes it. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs)

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-12195-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993