Download The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life Audiobook

The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life Audiobook, by Anita Faye Garner Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Anita Faye Garner Narrator: Pamela Almand Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2021 ISBN: 9781665030977
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Stories and songs from a childhood spent in a vanished world of revivals and road shows

Anita Faye Garner grew up in the South—just about every corner of it. She and her musical family lived in Texarkana, Bossier City, Hot Springs, Jackson, Vicksburg, Hattiesburg, Pascagoula, Bogalusa, Biloxi, Gulfport, New Orleans, and points between, picking up sticks every time her father, a Pentecostal preacher known as “Brother Ray,” took over a new congregation.

In between jump-starting churches, Brother Ray took his wife and kids out on the gospel revival circuit as the Jones Family Singers. Ray could sing and play, and “Sister Fern” (Mama) was a celebrated singer and songwriter, possessed of both talent and beauty. Rounding out the band were the young Garner (known as Nita Faye then) and her big brother Leslie Ray. At all-day singings and tent revivals across the South, the Joneses made a joyful noise for the faithful and loaded into the car for the next stage of their tour.

But growing up gospel wasn’t always joyous. The kids practically raised and fended for themselves, bonding over a shared dislike of their rootless life and strict religious upbringing. Sister Fern dreamed of crossing over from gospel to popular music and recording a hit record. An unlikely combination of preacher’s wife and glamorous performer, she had the talent and presence to make a splash, and her remarkable voice brought Saturday night rock-and-roll to Sunday morning music. Always singing, performing, and recording at the margins of commercial success, Sister Fern shared a backing band with Elvis Presley and wrote songs recorded by Johnny Cash and many other artists.

In her touching memoir The Glory Road, Anita Faye Garner re-creates her remarkable upbringing. The story begins with Ray’s attempts to settle down and the family’s inevitable return to the gospel circuit and concludes with Sister Fern’s brushes with stardom and the family’s journey west to California where they finally landed—with some unexpected detours along the way. The Glory Road carries listeners back to the 1950s South and the intersections of faith and family at the very roots of American popular music.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Glory Road takes us to an important cultural crossroad of America—where gospel met rockabilly, and Saturday night collided with Sunday morning.”

    Dayton Duncan, writer/producer of Ken Burns’ Country Music

  • “A story so central to the origins of country music: the marriage of Saturday night and Sunday morning, and the literal marriage of two musicians…Anita Garner was ‘there when it happened,’ and her book tells us what we ought to know.”

    Rosanne Cash, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter

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About the Author

Anita Faye Garner enjoyed a long career in radio, on the air in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and as host of nationally syndicated shows, The Great Starship and Something Special. She was an announcer for decades for KCET-TV in Hollywood, PBS for Southern California. She has won the 2009 John Steinbeck Short Story Award, and her work appears in Saturday Evening Post’s 2015 Great American Fiction anthology.

About the Narrator

Pamela Almand, a former international 747 pilot for Delta Airlines, launched an unlikely second career after appearing in a national television spot for Tylenol in 1995. Several regional spots for Northwest Airlines followed, and she began narrating training and industry videos, built a professional recording studio, and launched the Captain’s Voice. Since then, Pamela has provided voice-over for major corporate clients worldwide, including Microsoft, Disney, Canadian Realtors, the United Nations, Zurich, International Red Cross, and the hotels and casinos of Monte Carlo. She is a SAG/AFTRA voice actor and audiobook narrator with multiple awards and nominations from the Audio Publishers Association’s Audie Awards, Society of Voice Arts and Sciences’ Voice Arts Awards, and AudioFile magazine’s Earphones Award. She lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida, with her husband, Amos.