Lawrence E. McCullough (PhD 1978, Ethnomusicology) has coauthored a recently published a memoir by Harold F. Eggers Jr. about Eggers’ 20-year collaboration with renowned singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt. My Years with Townes Van Zandt: Music, Genius, and Rage, available on the Hal Leonard/Backbeat Books imprint, explores the self-destructive tendencies Van Zandt exhibited as part of his creative journey that included 130 songs, constant touring, and 22 albums before he died at the age of 52. According to McCullough,
“The story of Townes and Harold is glorious, tragic and ultimately uplifting. It’s the story of a generation of American Romantics and the price they paid for holding on to their ideals and never letting go.”
A longtime musician and music journalist, Lawrence E. McCullough has penned hundreds of articles on music and the music industry starting when he was a grad student at Pitt's music department from 1974–78. While serving as country music columnist for the Austin American-Statesman in the 1980s, he met Van Zandt and recorded with him on a Texas music anthology CD.
As a doctoral student at Pitt, McCullough’s focus was British Isles folk music and his dissertation was on "Irish Music in Chicago: An Ethnomusicological Study.” His dissertation is now available in a collection that includes his other academic writings titled What Whistle Would You Play at Your Mother’s Funeral?
McCullough is currently Executive Director of Arts Guild New Jersey, a non-profit center for the arts located in the City of Burlington presenting a variety of arts programs (visual, performing, literary, culinary, media) for the benefit of New Jersey residents, along with arts education and arts service resources.
Congratulations to Lawrence E. McCullough on his latest book and many other successes!