Today at noon, the Arkansas Literary Festival
started things off with a talk by longtime L.A. Times rock critic Robert Hilburn
at the Oxford American Annex, moderated by Oxford American
associate editor Maxwell George
. Hilburn is the author, most recently, of "Johnny Cash: A Life,"
and so was there to tell Cash stories: playing Folsom Prison (a concert Hilburn actually attended, though as a freelancer not, he stressed, a prisoner), stealing horn riffs from Bob Moore, having an affair with his wife's sister, recording a novelty song called "The Chicken in Black"
("It's too complicated to explain," Hilburn said, after spending a few minutes trying to parse the song's lyrics). Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller
, who will be performing at South on Main tonight at 8,
was on hand to play Cash songs.
Our picks for the weekend's highlights are in this week's paper
— the full schedule is at the Lit Fest site