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When WA was a country music capital — Stephanie Clifford's 'The Farewell Tour'

Farewell Tour
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KUOW / Alec Cowan

When you think about country music, places like Texas, Appalachia and Nashville probably come to mind. Maybe you even know about The Bakersfield Sound, a sub-genre of country music that sprang from California.

But the Pacific Northwest has a long country tradition, from honky tonks in Tacoma to radio shows in Walla Walla and dances at Whatcom County meeting halls.

Washington state's mid-century country western scene is at the center of a new novel by journalist Stephanie Clifford titled, “The Farewell Tour.” The book follows washed-up star Lillian Waters as she heads back home to Walla Walla as part of her final tour.

On the way, Waters must confront her alcoholism, a career-ending health issue, and her memories of a fractured childhood. The book is steeped in cameos from country stars and artists you may never have heard of who deeply influenced the genre.

Listen to the full interview with Stephanie Clifford by clicking "play" on the audio above.

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