Richard Wootton Biography

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Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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Richard Wootton—former teacher in South London, free-lance writer, and music enthusiast—now resides in London, England. He traveled across the United States during the middle 1970s and the early 1980s looking for and commenting on clubs that play live music. Wootten spent five years learning the nuances of atmosphere, character, and tone that distinguish one musical nightspot from another. He also visited record stores, radio stations, recording studios, record producers, and musicians. What he found was presented in Honky Tonkin' —A Travel Guide to American Music (1977). Wooten has also written books on John Lennon and Elvis Presley, but he has focused more on country music than rock and roll

Wootton no longer writes books because he has devoted his career in recent years to the publicity business. Andrew Lycett claims that after the publication of Honky Tonkin', "several firms, among them an American hotel chain . . . approached Wootton asking him to put together musical tours and itineraries of the continent". This enterprise ultimately led Wootton to his current career as publicist for country musicians. Richard Wootton Publicity is now a successful London firm that works in conjunction with Joe's Garage in Nashville, Tennessee, handling the publicity for country music recording stars such as Garth Brooks, Emmy Lou Harris, and Gretchen Peters. Wootton has attempted to make country music a big business in England; he has served as Chairman of the British Association of Record Dealers and has written articles for Billboard magazine.

Wootton is so modest about his books that his colleagues in the country music publicity business had to learn from other sources that he was an author of some note.