To be released February 10, 2014!!
Grammy award-winning producer Tamara Saviano pens heartbreaking and uplifting memoir, “The Most Beautiful Girl: A True Story of a Dad, a Daughter and the Healing Power of Music”
Foreword by Kris Kristofferson
Nashville, Tennessee – Tamara Saviano has achieved remarkable success and happiness in the music industry. Working with such legendary songwriters as Guy Clark and Kris Kristofferson, Grammy award winning producer (Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster) and 2012’s Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year winner for the celebrated tribute albums (This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark), she grew up in fear as a frequent victim of her father’s abuse when he was under the influence of alcohol. When he wasn’t drunk, he was an adoring father who was Tamara’s staunches ally. The title, "The Most Beautiful Girl" comes from the famous song and illuminates the connection to music throughout her life.
The 52-year-old Wisconsin native worked through chaos and sorrow on her way to personal and professional fulfillment. Featuring a foreword by Kristofferson, The Most Beautiful Girl tells Saviano’s story, a heartbreaking yet uplifting memoir of a daughter, her father, and the healing power of music.
The book opens with a scene at Johnny Cash’s funeral when Saviano is struck with grief about unfinished business with the man she came to know as her father. Robert Ruditys died two years before Cash, and hadn’t spoken to his daughter for more than a decade.
Sadness and regret lead Saviano on a journey to rediscover her father and examine the lost relationship with a man she once loved. Through an unstable childhood, a turbulent young adulthood and finally on a path to freedom, Saviano lays bare the complexity of family ties—both those that bind and those that break.
Saviano found comfort in music throughout it all. “There was always music on the stereo in our house,” she says. “It was part of the fabric of our day-to-day lives. As I was trying to figure out how to reconcile my Dad’s death, I listened to his music. He was into Cash and Sun Records and the Memphis Soul music that Stax issued in the 1960s. While I listened to Otis, Aretha and Cash, I went back and read my childhood diaries. My goal was to find peace and acceptance about my Dad, which I did, but it took writing this book to do it.”
In the book, Saviano also details her own personal road to professional accomplishment.
Nearly two decades ago, she placed a high-risk bet in moving from Wisconsin to Nashville to pursue her dream of working in the music business. Ultimately, it paid off. “I was 34 and a single mom leaving the only home I ever knew. I left a great job and friends,” Saviano says. “I cried while driving to Nashville asking myself ‘did I make a horrible mistake?’”
It turned out to be the right move. More than a decade ago, Saviano started her own public relations business with Kris Kristofferson as her anchor client. Ultimately she expanded into artist management, project management, and consulting. Recently Saviano co-wrote From Art to Commerce: A Workbook for Independent Musicians, an eBook companion to the workshops she teaches with independent artist Rod Picott. “We teach artists to be entrepreneurs,” Saviano says. “The music business has changed with the evolution of technology. Once controlled by gatekeepers, production and distribution are easier for independent artists to tell their stories, produce their own music. It’s an exciting time to work in music.”
Storytelling has been the common thread throughout her life. Saviano studied the art as a girl by listening to troubadours Cash, Clark and Kristofferson. She is a devoted book reader and has told the story of many others from the perspective of a journalist and producer. The Most Beautiful Girl tells a personal tale, this time her own. “It is always about the story for me,” she says. “Stories are nourishment on this adventure we call life.”
The Most Beautiful Girl is set to a soundtrack of folk and country music that both inspires and haunts her. Saviano weaves a tale that proves music can provide a lasting connection long after human relationships have unraveled. Threaded with lyrics and founded in a mid-century coming-of-age tale, the memoir represents a true American remembrance of childhood anguish, lost identity and happy endings. The Most Beautiful Girl concludes at the 2005 GRAMMY Awards as Saviano is honored for producing the Best Traditional Folk Album: Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster. She’s a well-known music journalist (Country Music Magazine) and television producer (Great American Country). Right now Saviano is deep into writing an in-depth biography of Guy Clark
Very interesting biography of a daughter and her relationship with her alcoholic father. I'm pretty sure Tamara's story will sound very familiar to many people, at least on an emotional level. This is her journey to healing from the painful side of her childhood and coping with the mixed emotions of a father she both loved and hated. Interesting too how fate stepped in and her present career is so intimately connected to her relationship with her father as a child. As much as we try to run from our past and our childhood demons we certainly can't hide from them. The triggers are everywhere, reminding us that in order to move forward we have to face the past.
Great little biography... both moving and entertaining... and you don't have to love country music to relate to her story. But, I do think those who love country music and grew up in the 70's would enjoy this little trip down memory lane. Lots of I remember when moments...
ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley