Rough Mix

Before his 1995 retirement, Jimmy Bowen was the most powerful man in Nashville, a hit producer and, over the years, head of several major record companies. But his blunt way of handling people eventually did him in, and if he hadn’t retired, Garth Brooks — whose ego matched Bowen’s — would have had him canned at Capitol Records. His autobiography, Rough Mix, written with Jim Jerome recounts with wit and verve Bowen’s rise from teen musician to music-industry visionary and never shies away from the tough stuff, even coming clean on vote-brokering for the Country Music Awards. But as honest as Bowen is, he comes across as a self-righteous braggart much of the time. He may be the hippest Nashville cat ever to strut the alley, but braggadocio doesn’t look any more attractive on Bowen than it does on his old nemesis Brooks. B

Rough Mix
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