Johnny Bush Autobiography:Whiskey River (Take My Mind)

“Johnny Bush is one of my oldest and dearest friends. He and I started out together in music, and we’re still together. Everything that’s been said about me in this book, good or bad, is pretty accurate.”

—Willie Nelson

It seems appropriate that Willie Nelson has written the foreward to Johnny Bush’s autobiography:  “Whiskey River (Take My Mind), which will be availablle for purchase next month.   

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Willie Nelson
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue
  • 1. I Love You So Much It Hurts
  • 2. The Pipeliner Blues
  • 3. Forever and Always
  • 4. Crazy Arms
  • 5. Night Life
  • 6. Devil’s Disciple
  • 7. The Other Woman
  • 8. The Sound of a Heartache
  • 9. Undo the Right
  • 10. You Gave Me a Mountain
  • 11. Whiskey River
  • 12. Man with No Soul at All
  • 13. Time Changes Everything
  • 14. Please Talk to My Heart
  • 15. Home to Texas
  • Johnny Bush Discography
  • Selected Reading List

This, by Bob Allen,  from the U of Texas website http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/excerpts/exbuswhi.html

Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk is the story of the golden age of Texas country music in the 1950s and ’60s—where that music came from and where it has gone. Bob Wills, Moon Mullican, and George Jones are part of this story. So are Charley Pride, George Strait, and Junior Brown. Over the course of the past half century, Johnny Bush has crossed paths with virtually everybody who is anybody in country music, and at some point they all turn up here, usually accompanied by a priceless anecdote or two.

The book is also an unflinchingly honest accounting of one man’s life, the “kid from Kashmere Gardens with mud on his shoes,” as Bush refers to himself. In fact, I can’t recall another country autobiography—and I’ve read quite a few of them—in which the author has been so brutally honest, both in assessing his own personal shortcomings as well as in stating his professional opinion of what has become of the music to which he has devoted his life. Bush minces few words when discussing his disdain for mainstream contemporary country music, which in his view has gained the world only to lose its soul.

This is no smiley-faced Nashville whitewash job. Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk is everything a book about country music ought to be and almost never is. Bush’s tale is equal parts funny and tragic, smart and stupid, happy and sad, sacred and profane.

Johnny Bush’s stature within the tradition of Texas honky-tonk music cannot be accurately measured by an objective appraisal of his national chart successes. No, he is not a household name like his friends Ray Price and Willie Nelson. Nor is he Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Thompson, Lefty Frizzell, or George Jones, although he’s known all of them and shared a bandstand with most of them in a career spanning more than fifty years.

But to those people everywhere who really know and love country music, Bush is more than a household name. He is a hero

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