Confessions of a Maddog: A Romp Through the High-flying Texas Music and Literary Era of the 50s to the 70s


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Contributor: Foreword by Larry L. King
Hardcover Price: $29.95
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Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781574410501
Hardcover ISBN-10: 1574410504
Physical Description: 6 x 9. 304 pp. 12 photos. Index.
Publication Date: October 1998
Annotation:

"Once upon a time there was an innocent lad from West Texas who wrote a novel and fell in with a rabble of Texas writers as they were bridging the literary gap between J. Frank Dobie and his paisanos and the current bumper crop of Texas writers who seem to be everywhere writing about everything. This rowdy rabble of gap bridgers bonded in a sort of literary and social club they called Maddog Inc. (Motto: Doing indefinable services to mankind.) But our hero managed to live through it all anyway. This is his story."

Jay Milner was part of a generation of Texas writers whose heyday lasted from the late 1950s through the 1970s. The group was comprised of Billie Lee Brammer, Edwin "Bud" Shrake, Gary Cartwright, Dan Jenkins, Larry L. King, Pete Gent, and (peripherally) Larry McMurtry and Willie Morris. From the musical scene there were "picker poets," as Milner calls them, such as Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, and Waylon Jennings. Some of the primary works coming from this generation of writers include Brammer's The Gay Place, Shrake's Strange Peaches, Cartwrights's Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter, King's The Whorehouse Papers and None But a Blockhead, Jan Reid's The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, and Willie Nelson's album Phases and Stages.

"When I first met Jay Milner, dinosaurs and the one-and-only original Hank Williams were a long time dead; John F. Kennedy and William Faulkner only recently so. Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Gleason, Red Foley, Chet Huntley and a rowdy bunch of hard-drinking, pot-smoking, lady-chasing Texas writers many of whom make appearances in this book were alive and semi-well. So were our dreams, collectively and individually, of soon running Norman Mailer out of town, embarrassing Kurt Vonnegut into retirement and reducing Saul Bellow to full-time school teaching. It didn't exactly happen that way, but my-oh-my didn't we have a good time trying ?"—Larry L. King, from the Foreword

"A really important and informative and funny book that Jay, given his background, is almost uniquely qualified to write."—Richard Holland

"Old Jay Milner has been most everything in a lifetime of 74 years: champion athlete, crusading journalist, novelist, university professor and even confessor-confidant to Willie Nelson. Most everything but rich and famous. Maybe it's not too late."—Joe Murray, Lufkin Daily News

About Author:

JAY DUNSTON MILNER attended high school in Lubbock where he played on a state championship football team. He graduated from Southern Mississippi University with a B.A. and M.A. and coached football before becoming a reporter for the Hattiesburg, Mississippi American and the Associated Press. He was managing editor of Hodding Carter's Greenville, Mississippi Delta Democrat-Times and went to New York as assistant to the editorial page editor of the New York Herald Tribune. He returned to Texas in 1961 and fell in with a rowdy crowd of Texas prose and song writers to whom much of this book is devoted. He lives in Fort Worth.