by Ralph Emery with Tom Carter
Like the second batch of soup made from a chicken carcass, this follow-up to Emery’s 1991 best-selling autobiography, Memories, is thin and unsatisfying. In his first book, the avuncular host of Nashville Now, the Nashville Network’s talk variety show, revealed the depressing details of his own addiction to amphetamines, his extensive plastic surgery and his unhappy marriage to Skeeter Davis, along with fresh stories of the travails of such performers as Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell and Johnny Cash. In this book, Emery relies on picked-over anecdotes and even repeats a not-that-funny-the-first-time story from Memories about Cash releasing a flock of chickens in a Manhattan hotel.
Emery does, at least, acknowledge, if understatedly, ex-wife Davis’s bitterness toward him: “She was unhappy with the picture I painted of our relationship.” (He in fact wrote that he had contemplated including a few blank pages in a chapter headed “Things I Enjoyed About My Marriage to Skeeter Davis.”)
With no more exes to trash, Emery may be hard put to stir up any feelings with this obvious ego trip. Throw another turnip in that soup, and gel back to Shotgun Red, Ralph. (Putnam, $21.95)