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Word For Word

Word For Word

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Word For Word

Crowell, Rodney

Nashville, Tenn. (April 06, 2022) – As the consummate craftsman of lyric and melody, Rodney Crowell is hailed as an American treasure. In his new book WORD FOR WORD, the path behind his prolific legacy is laid bare like never before with the stories that brought his most iconic songs to life, including fifteen #1 hits. 


Out September 13 on BMG Books, WORD FOR WORD collects 150 of Crowell’s most impactful songs in a collector-sized compilation of lyrical poetry and artwork, curated by the Texas troubadour himself.  Often called a poet by his peers, Crowell’s poignant and life affirming lyrics take on new meaning when they are read from the pages of WORD FOR WORD.


Multi-chart topper and multi-Grammy Award winner, both as an artist and songwriter, Crowell is a pioneer of Americana music. Known foremost as a songwriter’s songwriter, Crowell’s talents successfully translate to all forms of storytelling, as seen in his acclaimed memoir Chinaberry Sidewalks.


In WORD FOR WORD, Crowell reveals his path to becoming an icon among his peersIncluded are enduring selections such as “Til I Gain Control Again,” “Leaving Louisiana In the Broad Daylight,” “I Ain’t Living Long Like This” and “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” songs covered by Emmylou Harris, the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Etta James and Norah Jones, as well as hits for Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Bob Seger.


With 50 pages of prose from Crowell’s own pen, describing his early days in Nashville and the backstory of selected songs, the book distills his legendary life’s work down to its essence, with rare insight, humor, and larger-than-life storytelling.


The book features additional commentary from Rosanne Cash and a foreword by best-selling author Daniel Levitin, as well as original art, previously unseen photography, personal artifacts (including first drafts of songs), and much more. The exclusive collection found in these pages gives an insider’s view into a half-century of extraordinary lyrical work. Crowell has most likely written one of your favorite songs, and is finally giving those songs the spotlight and historical context they deserve.



“Rodney Crowell is our nation’s troubadour, whose aching lyrics are a fragile bridge between those among us with calluses on their hands and those with the money to hire them. Damn, that guy can write!” 

– Broadcast journalist Ted Koppel


“Great country songs read like short stories, and the best ones, even before you’ve heard a tune attached to them, sound like they’re being sung right off the page into your mind. Listen close as you read this book, lyrics and stories alike, and you will hear not just Rodney’s voice and indelible melodies; whole worlds will appear. He’s a true story-telling master, and this book is a treasure.” 

– Wilco founder and front man, Jeff Tweedy


“Like Hank Williams or Townes Van Zandt or Miss Lucinda, he writes and croons with a poet’s economy and a well digger’s deep heart. Crowell is an authentic poet who’ll say anything so long as it’s true and this book is a literary event to celebrate. Buy this book!”

– Award-winning poet and New York Times Best Selling memoirist, Mary Karr 


“There’s no doubt that Crowell was an architect of Americana as we know it.” 

– NPR Music


“Whether he’ll accept it or not, [Crowell has] now assumed the mantle of the late Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, two poets who could zero in on our emotions by telling wry, straight-as-an-arrow stories about the desiccated desolation of the failures or triumphs of relationships, or the battered denizens of small towns searching for truth, comfort, love, or refuge in their own halting ways.” 

– No Depression


WORD FOR WORD will be released wherever books are sold on September 13, 2022, with pre-orders available now. The book is available in both a standard edition, and a collector’s hand-signed and numbered deluxe edition limited to only 1500 copies.


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About Rodney Crowell:

With more than 40 years of American roots music under his belt, Texas native RODNEY CROWELL is a two-time Grammy Award winner who has written fifteen #1s with five Number One hits of his own and a legacy of songwriting excellence. A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Crowell is also the author of the acclaimed memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks, and teamed up with New York Times best-selling author Mary Karr for Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell in 2012. Crowell was honored with ASCAP’s prestigious Founder’s Award in 2017, and that same year released the album Close Ties, which spawned another Grammy nomination for “It Ain’t Over Yet” with Rosanne Cash and John Paul White in the category of Best Americana Song. In 2018, he opened his own record label, RC1 Records, and released his Acoustic Classic project. Also released on RC1, 2019’s Texas is a collection of Lone Star-centric collaborations with Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Dunn, Steve Earle and more, and Crowell’s most recent album, Triage, in 2021.

Crowell has four daughters and lives with his wife and dog in Tennessee. He writes every day and loves tending to his garden.


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