JERRY LEE LEWIS:
HIS OWN STORY
By Rick Bragg
Presented at Malaprop’s on December 10, 2014, 7:00 pm.
Contact: Alsace Walentine
It is a dream pairing: Rick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bard of the American South serving up one of the consummate and most colorful of Southern stories–a firsthand account of the singularly scandalous life of one of the greatest rock and rollers of all time. With JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story, Bragg has tracked down the man himself and for the first time shares Lewis’s often outrageous story as no one else ever could–straight from the legend’s mouth.
Interviewing the seminal musician over the course of two summers, Bragg recreates the almost impossible to believe story of the hell-raising Southern boy who would galvanize the world and give the devil’s edge to rock and roll with songs like Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On and Great Balls of Fire, delight his audiences with his outlandish onstage performance style, and scandalize the public with his private indiscretions, including his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin and years of drugs, alcohol, tax problems, and the rest. The first performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lewis has played with everyone from Elvis to Kid Rock, has influenced generations of musicians, and has lived to see himself portrayed on Broadway and on screen. But never before has his whole story been told.
“There are countless musicians who will tell you that Jerry Lee Lewis is part of the foundation of rock and roll,” says Bragg. “He is more than an American icon. He is more than a gifted and masterful musician. He spans so many genres and has lived such a violent, sad, and wonderful life that, at times, it seems he cannot be real, let alone still alive to tell about it….This is Jerry Lee Lewis’s life from his own memories.
RICK BRAGG is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and the author of the New York Times bestsellers, All Over But the Shoutin’, Ava’s Man, The Prince of Frogtown, and I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story.
He has twice won the prestigious American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and has more than fifty writing awards in his career. He is currently a professor of writing at the University of Alabama.