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Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

By Rick Bragg

New York Times Bestseller

The maximum Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the best rock and curler of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis—and will get his personal tale, from the resource, for the first actual time.

A huge determine at the American panorama, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his youth elevating hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the area with hit documents like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” that gave rock and roll its devil’s area; triggered riots and boycotts together with his incendiary performances; approximately scuttled his profession by means of marrying his thirteen-year-old moment cousin—his 3rd spouse of 7; ran a decades-long marathon of substances, consuming, and ladies; approximately met his maker, two times; suffered the deaths of 2 sons and other halves, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with not anything however the broken-down piano he began with; played with every body from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to child Rock—and survived all of it to be hailed as “one of the main inventive and critical figures in American pop culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience.”

Jerry Lee Lewis: His personal Story is the Killer’s existence as he lived it, and as he shared it over years with our best bard of Southern lifestyles: Rick Bragg. wealthy with Lewis’s personal phrases, framed by means of Bragg’s richly atmospheric narrative, , this is often the final nice untold rock-and-roll tale, come to existence at the page.

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They even began listening to approximately me, all started listening to approximately that wild boy that performed the boogie-woogies at the piano. And the extra we went the drunker we acquired. . . . by the point the evening used to be over, we used to be so inebriated we couldn’t see. Caked in vomit. Couldn’t rise up. My first genuine under the influence of alcohol. ” They have been lucky to get out of the Crescent urban alive, he realizes now. yet he had tasted the apple, and he cherished it. He’d been desiring to chop unfastened a bit of, wanted it for your time; he was once beginning to remember that a guy simply has to chop unfastened from time to time, except he’s petrified of the area or terrified of his lady. nonetheless, someplace in the course of that debauched journey to New Orleans, he controlled to create a few musical heritage. on the J&M studio, the place fat Domino have been making hits for many years now, he minimize what's believed to be his first recording. songs: a Lefty Frizzell ballad known as “Don’t remain Away (Till Love Grows Cold),” which he sang excessive and plaintive, and a stomping boogie that confirmed off all he knew. Cecil could carry directly to that list into his outdated age. He was once performed with marriage, he knew that a lot, and during with Dorothy. He advised himself he used to be unmarried in his personal brain, and that are supposed to were adequate, however the country of Louisiana insisted on bureaucracy or resolutions or resembling that. He had continuously hated types and ritual, hated tedium, hated the principles the opposite humans lived via, so he did not anything, simply stored on residing in the principles he laid down for himself. loads of wealthy males do this, and it’s effortless to drag off if you’re a Kennedy or Lee Calhoun, however it takes guts to attempt it if you’re a negative guy. “I simply performed what I wanted,” he says. He says it much. it's why, while he walked previous a vehicle lot after remaining time and observed a handsome vehicle, he observed no cause to not borrow the auto for a short while, at the very least till morning. within the ideas of standard humans, that used to be known as grand robbery car, and a legal. In this sort of small city, although, protection at the plenty used to be lax. “I warrantly you, if I walked through a vehicle lot and observed one with the keys in it again then, i used to be long past. I simply stated, ‘Well, looka right here. ’ I drove all of it over the rustic. yet I took it again. I regularly took ’em again. I received every kind of vehicle, and parked ’em correct the place I had borrowed ’em from. final one was once a ’50 Chevrolet. ” In a fashion, he taken care of a few people who related method. He hardly ever speaks with remorse approximately somebody, yet he does while he talks approximately Dorothy. “Dorothy instructed me i used to be the single guy she had ever been with, and that i comprehend that used to be real. . . . I left her cryin’ on my mama’s doorstep. ‘Son, you’re wrong,’ she advised me. I’m ashamed it occurred. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have performed it. ” He made yet another try out at a holy lifestyles, partially simply because he desired to ease his mother’s brain. Or at the very least he went to a spot the place doing correct used to be the final notion. He may need even made it—probably no longer, yet maybe—if anyone had simply had the great feel to fasten up the piano. the scholar physique waited respectfully within the pews, now not one painted fingernail or undone button between them, a few souls buzzing, yet quietly so, with college spirit, and alight within the love of the real gospel.

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