A Road Tour of American Song Titles

From Mendocino to Memphis

By Karl du Fresne

Availability: 73 in stock

"Karl's tracing of the intriguing stories behind those romantic place names in American music will have you listening to the songs with brand new ears."
Phil O'Brien, host of Radio NZ's "Matinee Idle" 

Like most New Zealand kids in the 1960s, Karl du Fresne grew up listening to songs about American towns and cities, some well known, others less so: Galveston, El Paso, Kansas City, Jackson, Tulsa and Nashville, to name just a few. He found himself wondering what sort of places they were . . . so he went to find out. 

Read an extract published on The Spin Off, or listen to Karl talking about the travel and the music on Radio NZ

What readers are telling us about A Road Tour of American Song Titles:

"Just to let you know how much I enjoyed Karl du Fresne’s A Road Tour of American Song Titles. I was able to learn so much about the music and the musicians of just the type of music I love so much, but as well as that I really enjoyed the descriptions of the towns, the people he met, the food, etc. Karl du Fresne’s writing brought it all to life for me. I’d love to do that trip!" – Jane

"Please pass on to Karl du Fresne my appreciation of his book. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey; it evoked warm memories of great (and not so great) songs. The historical and geographical data melded perfectly with Karl’s storylines. An excellent read." – Aileen

"Just loving A Road Tour of American Song Titles. Songs from the greatest era in music combined with a road trip around the greatest nation in the world. Just a few of my favourite things! Please encourage Karl to start on volume two." – Peter

240 x 160 mm, 240 pages, paperback



Karl du Fresne

Karl du Fresne has worked in newspaper and magazine journalism as an editor, feature writer and columnist, but music has been a central part of his life since childhood. He bought his first guitar with his earnings from a paper round and later played bass guitar in dance halls, ballrooms and pubs around Wellington, juggling band work with his journalism commitments. His previous books include The New Zealand Wine-Lover's Companion and The Right to Know: News Media Freedom in New Zealand, for the Newspaper Publishers' Association. Karl lives in Masterton with his wife Jolanta, who is also his travelling companion. He remains active in journalism as a columnist, blogger and feature writer for the New Zealand Listener.