At its heart, Mama Tried is a book with a soundtrack. After all, this is a novel with a country DJ as a protagonist and names of classic country songs as chapter titles. Below are those chapter titles at their absolute best: Set to sweet melodies by stars beloved by longtime country music fans or still awaiting discovery by curious readers new to the genre. If you’d rather hear all the tunes like an actual soundtrack, click on the Spotify playlist.

Spotify playlist of songs from Mama Tried chapters

Prologue: “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” —Emmylou Harris

Chapter 1: “Roll On, Big Mama”—Joe Stampley

Chapter 2: “Delta Dawn”—Tanya Tucker

Chapter 3: “Mama Tried”—Merle Haggard

Chapter 4: “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”—Kenny Rogers

Chapter 5: “Older Women”—Ronnie McDowell

Chapter 6: “Fist City”—Loretta Lynn

Chapter 7: “Behind Closed Doors”—Charlie Rich

Chapter 8: “When I Dream”—Crystal Gayle

Chapter 9: “I Ain’t Living Long Like This”—Waylon Jennings

Chapter 10: “Beware of the Tall, Dark Stranger”—Buck Owens

Chapter 11: “Lead Me On”—Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn

Chapter 12: “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”—Johnny Cash

Chapter 13: “Why Lady Why”—Alabama

Chapter 14: “I Don’t Wanna Play House”—Tammy Wynette

Chapter 15: “I’d Love to Lay You Down”—Conway Twitty

Chapter 16: “The Man That Turned My Mama On”—Tanya Tucker

Chapter 17: “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”—Willie Nelson

Chapter 18: “Why Not Me”—The Judds

Chapter 19: “Your Cheatin’ Heart”—Hank Williams

Chapter 20: “Broken Lady”—Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers

Chapter 21: “I Fall To Pieces”—Patsy Cline

Chapter 22: “Here You Come Again”—Dolly Parton

Chapter 23: “If It Weren’t For Him”—Vince Gill with Roseanne Cash

Chapter 24: “She’s Got You”—Patsy Cline

Chapter 25: “A Thing Called Love”—Jerry Reed

Chapter 26: “Old Flame”—Alabama

Chapter 27: “If We Make It Through December”—Merle Haggard

Chapter 28: “Life Turned Her That Way”—Charley Pride

Chapter 29: “Ready For The Times To Get Better”—Crystal Gayle

Chapter 30: “Forgiving You Was Easy”—Willie Nelson

Chapter 31: “Hungry Eyes”—Merle Haggard

Chapter 32: “He Stopped Loving Her Today”—George Jones

Chapter 33: “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”—Willie Nelson

Epilogue: “We Believe In Happy Endings”—Johnny Rodriguez

And, of course, we can’t sign off without offering this gorgeous tune. While it’s not a chapter title, it – like so many other timeless tunes – is part of the novel’s very heartbeat.

“Go Rest High On That Mountain” – Vince Gill