Nashville, Tennessee, 1992. It's a boom year in country music, and the noise attracts a host of getaheads to town, including Mason Reed, a Hollywood mogul with a dark side. Tommy Price, a neophyte songwriter in the middle of an identity crisis, follows his nose into a hall of mirrors, loses his way, and finds himself. This is the story of Mason, Tommy, and other vivid characters who inhabit this fast paced novel centering around the corrupt music scene full of payoffs, drugs, and murder.


Jack Hurst - Chicago Tribune

Music City Confidential, the first novel of Nashville songwriter turned author Dan Tyler, is being mistaken for a kiss-and-tell expose, says its creator.
"It is definitely a work of fiction," Tyler says. "I call it fiction that's full of truth. It's going to ring true (to people who know the industry). But it's not a bitter book. Nashville has been great to me."

Apparently so. Tyler wrote the 1979 No. 1 Eddie Rabbitt single "Hearts on Fire" as well as the 1982 Oak Ridge Boys smash "Bobbie Sue" and a lot of other Nashville-recorded songs.

But the former practicing attorney from Mississippi has become beguiled by the best-selling success of his fellow Mississippi ex-barrister John Grisham. So Tyler began a sleek little volume about a drug lord who tires to make Nashville a movie capital and in the process catches the protagonist, a New Jersey-born Nashville songwriter, in the middle. The book also cover such territory as the country music industry's nepotism and lily-white racial makeup.

Tyler says he accomplished what he set out to do even down to word length.

"I wanted the book to be short, 200 pages, and it's 205," he says of the book he co-published with Nashville's little Eggman Press. "It's about a five or six hour read. I wanted a book you could finish in an afternoon on your back porch."

The new novelist claims to be geared for short work by his profession as a songwriter ("I'm used to writing three-minute songs") and a legalistic appreciation for precise language.

Born in McComb, Miss., son of an English-teacher mother and a father who worked on the business side of newspapers and radio but wanted to be a lawyer, Tyler did his collegiate undergraduate and law-school studies at the University of Mississippi at a time when the dragging-on of the Vietnam War made college "a good place to be."

After graduation in 1974, he clerked for a judge, but in college, enthralled with Bob Dylan, he had written songs, poems and stories. He got his first song recorded by an Atlanta firm while still an undergrad.

After finishing his clerkship, he and his wife "against all logic" moved to Nashville, where he scrambled around, got into a law firm on Music Row, and uneasily juggled songwriting with entertainment law and other ventures eventually enjoying a variety of creative and business successes.

But when Nashville started turning away from the pop country crossover direction of the '70s and early '80s and "the cowboy hats started showing up," Tyler as a pop-country writer "didn't know what to make of that" and began looking for another career alternative.

With another book (set in Mississippi, not Nashville) now underway, he plainly hopes his present mini-tome's confessional sounding title doesn't give people on Music Row the wrong impression.

"I want to keep writing songs too," he says.

"A captivating tale of music city, off-meter."
Will Campbell

"A quick, fun read. Tyler blew me away with a phenomenal, O. Henry ending."
John Seigenthaler, Sr.

"A page turner from the trenches. Good stuff!"
Kix Brooks

"Instantly engaging and cleverly written, Dan Tyler has written the quintessential book about music city in the 90's."
Billy Block

Webb Wilder

"A great read."
Bill Lloyd

"I couldn't put it down."
Stella Parton