New Book Illuminates the Life of Country Music’s Hidden Gem
WordCrafts Press and authors Billy Rae Stewart & Gail Kittleson are pleased to announce the release of the new biography, Country Music’s Hidden Gem: The Redd Stewart Story. The book, which released to retail in January 2021, debuted at Number 3 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases chart in both the Country Music category and the Country & Folk Composers category. Additionally, Country Music’s Hidden Gem climbed to Number 57 on the online retailer’s Best Sellers in Country Music chart and to Number 72 on the Country & Folk Composers chart – nestled between biographys of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Dolly Partin, and Leonard Cohen. Written by Redd Stewart’s son, Billy Rae Stewart, and historical novelist Gail Kittleson, and illustrated with more than five dozen historic family photographs, the book details the larger-than-life career of the man who wrote the beautiful Tennessee Waltz, which was later adopted as the State Song of Tennessee.
Redd Stewart’s journey began as more than just another rags-to-riches story, but with an essential heritage of family, love, and music that would later shape him into one of the music world’s greatest ‘unsung heroes.’ His life inspired others to do better, to be better, to love unconditionally, and to share with others the blessing of God-given talent.
A charter inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Stewart was a man who never asked for personal praise, but whose individual contribution to the Country and Pop music industries is still alive throughout the world today. Many of the songs written by Redd have been performed and recorded by such entertainment legends as Patti Page, Hank Williams, Roy Rogers, Dean Martin, Michael Bublé, and the list goes on. Among the multitude of honors and awards he received during his long career, was BMI’s 3,000,000 Airplay Award (equivalent to 17.1 years of continuous playing) for Tennessee Waltz, an honor shared with Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs,” Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” Hank Williams’s “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” and Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” Yet Redd was heard to say in all humility, “I don’t deserve any of this.”
The pages of the biography are filled with heartfelt thoughts about our subject as explored in detail by the musician, author, and loving son of this sincere man. Revealed for the first time is the real-life love story that inspired the lyrics to what has been hailed as the world’s most famous Country music song; the beautiful Tennessee Waltz.
“As a young boy I would watch in amazement while my father played his guitar,” author Billy Rae Stewart recalls. “His fingers would dance across the strings creating beautiful music that would grab the attention of all who were around him. He was truly an entertainer and would leave you feeling better about life and yourself no matter what your circumstances. He was my father, and I am a better man for having known him.”
About The Authors:
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Billy Rae Stewart was born into a musical family. His father, the legendary Redd Stewart, could play virtually any instrument he got his hands on. Billy Rae inherited his father’s passion for music, and at age nine began playing drums. By age eleven he was playing at small teen dance clubs. He soon shifted his focus to guitar, and just as he was about to get serious about his music career, the unexpected happened. He met a girl named Sharon.
“Before I knew it my focus had turned to marriage & kids, so I laid down my guitar and picked up my tools and built a career in floorcovering.”
Billy Rae never expected to be an author, but after researching his father’s life, he realized that it was a story that could be an inspiration to all. “What he accomplished in his life was simply amazing,” Billy Rae declared. “My dad’s life was truly a rags to riches story that needed to be told.”
Visit Billy online at: BillyStewart.com
Words have always been comfort food for novelist Gail Kittleson. After instructing expository writing and English as a Second Language, she began writing memoir. Now, intrigued by the World War II era, Gail creates women’s historical fiction from her northern Iowa home and also facilitates writing workshops/retreats.
She and her husband, a retired Army chaplain, enjoy their grandchildren and in winter, Arizona’s Mogollon Rim Country. You can count on Gail’s heroines to ask honest questions, act with integrity, grow in faith, and face hardships with spunk.
Visit Gail online at: gailkittleson.com