Dixie Gamble’s life took her from the hills of North Carolina to the top floor offices of Music Row – and a bit of everywhere in between. She’s dealt with a seesaw of experiences ranging from divorce to mental illness in a family member and, ultimately, success in what had been a solely male province. Gamble has detailed her fascinating journey in a new book titled Witch Hairs: Mirth, Miracles, Mayhem & Music, available now in bookstores and online outlets.
Gamble and her husband, guitar player supreme John Jorgenson, officially launched the book as they hosted a premiere party at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Monday night (Sept. 9). This was not your staid, run-of-the-mill book signing, but more of a multi-media event. Gamble read, emotionally at times, from her book, with musical interludes from the book’s companion CD, “Chiaroscuro,” featuring performances by Jorgenson, Rodney Crowell, Harry Stinson, Beth Hooker and others. It was another of those “only in Nashville” nights that Music City denizens lovingly, and rightfully, boast about.
Readers who delve into Witch Hairs will find Gamble’s music business career particularly inspiring. True to her surname, Gamble boldly rolled the dice and took on an industry dominated by males. “I had no solid male example of how to master success,” she writes, “yet I had leadership status in an industry cinched in a kicking and screaming transformation from a good ol’ boy network into what was to soon become a major moneymaking mecca.” She became the first female head of Elektra Asylum Music in Nashville, helping spawn the careers of Pam Tillis, K.T. Oslin and other songwriters. She was also married for a time to record label executive Jimmy Bowen.
Bu the book doesn’t solely revolve around business. Witch Hairs is also very much a love story, in which Gamble relates the circumstances of meeting her current husband. She relates her tales not in a gushing, fawning way, but more in the style of true Southern storytelling, with hardly a detail going unnoticed.
Pam Tillis recently observed about the book, “In its pages you will meet someone who lives presently, loves deeply and searches earnestly. Brazenly admitting to experiences way, way past the realms of the everyday may make books about sex, drugs, and rock and roll pale a little in comparison.” In that respect, Tillis is squarely on the money.
Witch Hairs: Mirth, Miracles, Mayhem & Music by Dixie Gamble is available at retail outlets and through witchhairs.com.