I was born and raised in South Florida. In 1974 I moved to Williamson County, TN; in 1979 I moved to ‘Labor in Vain,’ a late-eighteenth-century log cabin, near Leiper’s Fork, TN.

Working both as a music publisher and in artist management in both country and rock music, my interests remain broad and varied. A partner in BB King’s Blues Clubs (www.bbkingbluesclub.com) in Nashville, Memphis and Los Angeles, I serve as ‘Curator of Vibe’ of the corporation.

A lifelong collector, I was teh first Tennesseean to be listed among Arts & Antiquities’ Top 100 Collectors in America – my collection focuses on Outsider Art, Tennesseana, and Southern Material Culture. I served as co-curator (with Ben Caldwell and Mark Scala) on the exhibition, Ar of Tennessee, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. The exhibition was a seven year endeavor from conception at my kitchen table to its opening, September 2003. I was co-editor of the exhibition’s award-winning catalog, Art of Tennessee (UT Press, 2003).

In the field of historic preservation, I’ve served on the Boards of Historic Carnton Plantation (www.Carnton.org), the Tennessee State Museum, The Williamson County Historical Society, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (www.oldsalem.org/about/mesda.htm). In December 1997, after a third term as president of the Carnton board, and in light of my years of service to Carnton, I was named by board resolution: “the driving force in the restoration and preservation of Historic Carnton Plantation.”

For the past two years, I’ve headed up Franklin’s Charge: A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space (www.franklinscharge.com) in the fight to secure and preserve both battlefield and other historic open space in Williamson County. Franlin’s Charge has taken on the massive mission of saving what remains of the eastern flank of the battlefield at Franklin – the largest remaining undeveloped fragment of the battlefield – and turning it into a public battlefield park which will eventually run from the Lotz and Carter Houses (www.carter-house.org) to Ft. Granger and Carnton Plantation, with significant holdings around Breezy and Winstead Hills. (www.civilwarinteractive.com)

THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH was born out of my many years of work at Carnton and my passion for the preservation of the remaining fragments of the battlefield. In writing the novel, my hope was to bring national attention back to this moment in our nation’s history, the impact those five bloody hours played in making us a nation, and in the preservation of the sites tied to the story.

As a writer, my essays on regional history, southern material culture, and music have appeared in numerous publications over the years. I’m now hard at work on my next novel.

In my spare time, I like to garden – even though, in truth, I know I should be jogging.

Ronald Crutcher
Sally Lea Nance