John Lingan has written about everything from Baltimore photographer Devin Allen to baseball in the Trump era to the legendary status of Smokey Robinson. For his first book, “Homplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk,” he heads to Winchester, Virginia, to find country music DJ Jim McCoy, the first person to give airtime to the singer Patsy Cline. McCoy also started the titular honky-tonk on his family’s land in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As much as anything, the book is about the small town of Winchester itself, and its “strict hierarchy” that “put landowners at the top of the heap and shunted ‘white trash’ and minorities to the sidelines.” (Read an excerpted chapter posted at longreads.com.) In The New York Times, critic John Williams writes that “every American town could use a book like this one written about it; every town could afford to be this lovingly but critically seen.”
Tonight, Lingan will discuss his book with Brandon Soderberg, a former editor at City Paper and The Baltimore Beat (who has contributed to this website and is a friend of mine).
7 p.m., Bird In Hand, 11 E. 33rd St., (410) 814-0373, birdinhandcharlesvillage.com.
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