Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley

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Overview

Living in the Woods in a Tree is an intimate glimpse into the turbulent life of Texas music legend Blaze Foley (1949–1989), seen through the eyes of Sybil Rosen, the woman for whom he wrote his most widely known song, “If I Could Only Fly.” It captures the exuberance of their fleeting idyll in a tree house in the Georgia woods during the countercultural 1970s. Rosen offers a firsthand witnessing of Foley’s transformation from a reticent hippie musician to the enigmatic singer/songwriter who would live and die ...
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Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley

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Overview

Living in the Woods in a Tree is an intimate glimpse into the turbulent life of Texas music legend Blaze Foley (1949–1989), seen through the eyes of Sybil Rosen, the woman for whom he wrote his most widely known song, “If I Could Only Fly.” It captures the exuberance of their fleeting idyll in a tree house in the Georgia woods during the countercultural 1970s. Rosen offers a firsthand witnessing of Foley’s transformation from a reticent hippie musician to the enigmatic singer/songwriter who would live and die outside society's rules. While Foley's own performances are only recently being released, his songs have been covered by Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, and John Prine. When he first encountered “If I Could Only Fly,” Merle Haggard called it “the best country song I've heard in fifteen years.”

In a work that is part-memoir, part-biography, Rosen struggles to finally come to terms with Foley's myth and her role in its creation. Her tracing of his impact on her life navigates a lovers' roadmap along the permeable boundary between life and death. A must-read for all Blaze Foley and Texas music fans, as well as romantics of all ages, Living in the Woods in a Tree is an honest and compassionate portrait of the troubled artist and his reluctant muse.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter Cooper

Living in the Woods in a Tree comes at a time when music fans are hungry to know more about Blaze Foley. There are no books that compete with Rosen's, and it's quite unlikely that any ever will. Rosen's time with him (and her deft telling of that time) reveals so much about the man and the music.
The Tennessean

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574412505
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sybil Rosen was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, and holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. A screenwriter and playwright, she has won many awards. A short documentary for which she wrote the narration was nominated for an Academy Award in that category, and while she wrote for the TV show Guiding Light, it won an Emmy for best writing. She currently lives in Whitesburg, Georgia.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations

Pt. 1 Moonlight

Ch. 1 Things I Can't Throw Away 3

Ch. 2 The Mill 7

Ch. 3 Hear My Song 13

Ch. 4 Stolen Hearts 17

Ch. 5 Exodus 21

Ch. 6 Legendary Loves 24

Ch. 7 Waller 29

Ch. 8 The Tree House 34

Ch. 9 Udo 37

Ch. 10 Alternative Lifestyles 41

Ch. 11 Interdependence Day 49

Ch. 12 Homecoming 52

Ch. 13 Ghosts 56

Ch. 14 Livin' in the Woods in a Tree 59

Ch. 15 JAB Blues 62

Ch. 16 Romantic Codes 67

Ch. 17 Number the Days 71

Ch. 18 Revelations 74

Ch. 19 Inner Prizes 80

Ch. 20 When in Roanoke 85

Ch. 21 Three Dawg Nights 89

Ch. 22 Departure 93

Ch. 23 Our Little Town 95

Ch. 24 Nowhere to Hide 99

Pt. 2 Autumn Winds

Ch. 25 Miles to Go 103

Ch. 26 Fat Tuesday 105

Ch. 27 Tumbleweed 109

Ch. 28 Big D 112

Ch. 29 Wacko 116

Ch. 30 Lovers and Music 119

Ch. 31 The Live Music Capital of the World 123

Ch. 32 Good Enough for Jesus 129

Ch. 33 Jumping the Gun 134

Ch. 34 Letters from Blaze 139

Ch. 35 Dear Blaze 142

Ch. 36 Artist at Large 145

Ch. 37 Address Unknown 148

Ch. 38 Postcards from the Road 150

Ch. 39 Postage Due 153

Ch. 40 On the Road Again 154

Ch. 41 Cold, Cold World 157

Ch. 42 If I Could Only Fly 162

Ch. 43 My Reasons Why 167

Pt. 3 Country Music Widow

Ch. 44 Scavengers 171

Ch. 45 Lone Stars 174

Ch. 46 Texas Troubadour 177

Ch. 47 Loma Ranch 183

Ch. 48 Brink of Devotion 187

Ch. 49 Blaze Takes a Request 192

Ch. 50 Udo Revised 196

Ch. 51 Lord of the Dead 200

Ch. 52 Duct Tape Messiah 206

Ch. 53 Fathers and Sons 209

Ch. 54 Meeting Persephone 213

Ch. 55 Funny Valentine 216

Pt. 4 Small Town Hero

Ch. 56 True North 221

Ch. 57 Christian Ladies 224

Ch. 58 Family Secrets 229

Ch. 59Prodigal Daughters 232

Pt. 5 The Moon Shines On

Ch. 60 Numbers 239

Ch. 61 Head Over Heels 242

Ch. 62 Udo Revisited 244

Ch. 63 Untitled 246

Discography 251

Index 252

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