cover of book

Pressing On: The Roni Stoneman Story
by Roni Stoneman and Ellen Wright
University of Illinois Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-252-03191-5 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09259-6 | Paper: 978-0-252-07434-9
Library of Congress Classification ML419.S797A3 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 787.881642092

Roni Stoneman was the youngest daughter of the pioneering country music family and a woman who overcame poverty and abusive husbands to claim the title of "The First Lady of Banjo," a fixture on the Nashville scene, and, as Hee Haw's Ironing Board Lady, a comedienne beloved by millions.

Drawn from more than seventy-five hours of recorded interviews, Pressing On reveals Roni's gifts as a master storyteller. With characteristic spunk and candor, she describes her "pooristic" ("way beyond 'poverty-stricken'") Appalachian childhood, and how her brother Scott taught her to play the challenging and innovative three-finger banjo picking style developed by Earl Scruggs. She also warmly recounts Hee Haw-era adventures with Minnie Pearl, Roy Clark, and Buck Owens; her encounters as a musician with country greats like Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, June Carter, and Patsy Cline; as well as her personal struggles with shiftless and violent husbands, her relationships with her children, and her musical life after Hee Haw.

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