Cover image for Jerry Lee Lewis : his own story
Title:
Jerry Lee Lewis : his own story
Author:
Bragg, Rick.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2014.
Physical Description:
x, 498 pages, 31 pages of unnumbered plates : illustrations 24 cm
Summary:
The result of two years' worth of interviews, a chronicle of Lewis' life and career relates encounters with other musical legends and his lifelong rivalries with Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry for the title of king of rock and roll.

"A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the world with hit records like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire, " that gave rock and roll its devil's edge; caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin--his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock--and survived it all to be hailed as "one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience"" --
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780062078223
Format :
Book

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Library
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Material Type
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Central Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Audubon Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Clearfield Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Crane Branch Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Hamburg Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Kenmore Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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City of Tonawanda Library ML420.L534 B73 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary

New York Times Bestseller

The greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis--and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time.

A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, MississipΠ galvanized the world with hit records like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," that gave rock and roll its devil's ed≥ caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin--his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock--and survived it all to be hailed as "one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience."

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story is the Killer's life as he lived it, and as he shared it over two years with our greatest bard of Southern life: Rick Bragg. Rich with Lewis's own words, framed by Bragg's richly atmospheric narrative, , this is the last great untold rock-and-roll story, come to life on the page.


Author Notes

Rick Bragg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1996. A national correspondent for the "New York Times", he lives in Miami, Florida.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Award-winning author Bragg could probably write about nearly anything, in his gorgeous and evocative prose, and readers would swoon. Here he writes about musician Jerry Lee Lewis, who made women swoon but also storm the stage and rip off his clothes, and who made men riot and swear and drink. Rocker Lewis was (with Elvis and a few notable others) the naughtily provocative face of rock 'n' roll from the 1950s onward, and, in a literary almost-conversation with Bragg, Lewis reflects on his life, performances, and choices. He probably wouldn't change a thing not even his bigamously marrying his 13-year-old cousin, causing a rise and fall unequaled in American music because he was lucky enough to not only do what he loved, make music, but also make a riotous living at it. The book is a toothsome read: Lewis' reminiscences of the wild times, stories backed by others and headlines of the day, and Bragg's refusal to cosset what Lewis tells him. Fans of Lewis' music will snap this up, but those seeking an unstinting exploration of a true phenomenon of American culture will find it a fine read as well.--Kinney, Eloise Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Bragg, writing closely with Lewis, offers this rollicking, incendiary tale of the man who kick-started rock and roll and blazed a fiery trail strewn with heartache, happiness, regret, and memorable music. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bragg (All Over but the Shouting) sat down with Lewis over a period of two years and simply let Lewis tell his own story. From his childhood in Ferriday, La., and Natchez, Miss., Lewis chased music, discovering at age five his reason for being born when he sees the piano in his aunt's house. He couldn't sit still-"I come out jumpin', an' I been jumpin' ever since"-and he conducts us on a journey through his short-lived career at a Bible college, his discovery by Cowboy Jack Clement, his years at Sun Studio-including that now-famous, brief session with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis-his seven marriages, his children's deaths, his descent into drugs and alcohol, and his burning desire to play music above all else. "For Jerry Lee," writes Bragg, "fame was a thing that sometimes flogged him and sometimes let him be; he was capable, in the dark times, of losing all sight of the good in his music, of believing it was evil, until suddenly things would be just clear and he'd see it all so much better. The thing about rock and roll, he said, was that it made people crazy bad, but it more often made them happy, made them forget life for a while." As his song "Thirty-Nine and Holding"illustrates, Lewis hypnotizes with his tale, and Bragg stands back and lets him fly. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

An epic life deserves an epic narrative, and Pulitzer Prize winner Bragg (All Over but the Shoutin') delivers such with this major work on rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis. Bragg conducted multiple long interviews with the musician, providing the framework for the book, which uses novelistic style and detail while richly describing Lewis's early life in Louisiana and Mississippi, his youthful musical forays, and his meteoric rise to fame in the late 1950s, by way of his own memories and recollections. Bragg chronicles recordings with Sun Records, whirlwind tours, and interactions with music legends as well as a chaotic personal life, problems with drugs and drink, and reckless behavior that early on derailed Lewis's career until a comeback and his eventual ascension to elder rock statesman who here ruminates on the blazing trail that he created. Verdict With Lewis's reminiscences and thoughts filtered and examined through Bragg's evocative writing, readers get an original look at an innovator of rock music as well as an examination of a specific time and place during a thrilling and tumultuous period in the cultural history of the late 20th century. [See Prepub Alert, 6/2/14.]-James Collins, Morristown-Morris Twp. P.L., NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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