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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by

Author Frye Gaillard continues to develop new outlets for his creativity. Frye — the author of Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, considered one of the best books ever published on the history of country music — is one of the South’s hardest-working journalists, with a wide-ranging interest in culture and history. He has published many books, and is ever investigating new territory.

Recently, he shows he has a related talent, that of song-writing. And he’s doing a tour now in connection with Southern Girl, a new CD on which he and country recording artist Kathryn Scheldt have collaborated. Frye is co-producer of the CD and has co-written a number of songs on it; Kathryn Scheldt is singer and co-writer. Around this new CD he’s put together a small program in which Frye speaks about the themes of the music and the way Southern music often serves a literary purpose, then Kathryn performs. Gaillard describes the music as in a “country-folk-Americana groove.”

Frye and Kathryn are taking this musical lecture program on the road, with stops in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The program is part song and part commentary and 100% fun. In April 2010, the duo will appear at the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery. In addition, they can be heard on WTSU radio on November 6.

Baldwin County NOW recently featured a piece in which Frye recalled his first meeting with Kathryn, at a Mobile Sunday service held in the wake of Hurricane Katrina:

“The late autumn sun (was) slanting through the windows, as she sang of hope and mercy and despair,” Gaillard would later write on the liner notes of “Getting Ready,” Scheldt’s first CD, released in 2007. “There was a power in the lyrics that seemed inseparable from the strength of her voice — a rich contralto that was different from anything I had heard.”

Lagniappe newspaper praises Gaillard as a “sharp writer with a clear, honest voice who has done his research on the nature and evolution of country music. Collaborating with country songstress Scheldt seemed like a natural fit.”

Visit Frye Gaillard’s website at www.fryegaillard.com.

Watermelon Wine is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.

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