Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley

Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley

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by J. D. Davis
     
 

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Three cousins, inseparably bonded through music. Each became a star; their story would become a legend. J. D. Davis's enthralling new biography of famous cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley, born within a twelve-month span in small-town Louisiana during the Great Depression, draws from exhaustive research and personal connections with friends

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Overview

Three cousins, inseparably bonded through music. Each became a star; their story would become a legend. J. D. Davis's enthralling new biography of famous cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley, born within a twelve-month span in small-town Louisiana during the Great Depression, draws from exhaustive research and personal connections with friends and family. Davis recreates the irresistible and life-changing power of music that surrounded the cousins as boys and shaped their engagingly distinct paths to fame. With three personal journeys set alongside important landmarks in pop-culture history, Davis presents a unique tale of American music centered on the trials, tribulations, and achievements of three men who remain truly Unconquered.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First-time author Davis delivers an engaging if longwinded biography of three men bound by blood, music, and a lifelong struggle to strike a balance between the sacred and secular. As cousins, rock ‘n' roll pianist Jerry Lee Lewis, televangelist and gospel singer Jimmy Swaggart, and country music star Mickey Gilley grew up during the Great Depression in the small town of Ferriday, Louisiana. While Jerry's piano skills were evident early on, Jimmy's talents weren't. He was a reluctant churchgoer, preferring to gamble and steal during his pre-pulpit years. Mickey meanwhile emerged as Ferriday's favorite son and the most likable of the cousins. Davis covers many familiar stories, including Jerry's marriage to his 13-year-old cousin once removed in 1957, Jimmy's infamous infidelities that almost brought down his ministry in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and Mickey's years as co-owner of the nightclub that bore his surname and inspired 1980's hit movie Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta. Davis acknowledges that Jerry and Jimmy were "reluctant to participate directly" in the book, though that doesn't stop the author from occasionally imagining himself in their shoes, and despite some contrived dialogue and excessive foreshadowing, this 3-in-1 bio is nevertheless an entertaining and epic story of perseverance and the power of family ties. Photos. (May)
Library Journal
Davis, whose primary professional activities prior to writing this book were those of a businessman and entrepreneur, has constructed an engaging study of three cousins: rock 'n' roll pioneer and country musician Jerry Lee Lewis, country music star Mickey Gilley, and pastor and musician Jimmy Swaggart. He recounts the musical and general upbringing of the three and explores the possible psychological reasons for their vastly different careers and lives. In short, much of the story of these piano-playing singers revolves around their beliefs about the duality of good and evil. Davis conducted numerous interviews in researching his book, and it has the immediacy of a work written with the insight of insiders. This title should resonate with fans (and haters) of all three musicians. It provides a thorough analysis of their musical and other contributions and all of the controversies that have surrounded them—especially Lewis and Swaggart—over the decades. VERDICT This is a good read, and not just for the hard-core fan. It will appeal to anyone interested in the dynamics of rock 'n' roll, country music, and evangelical Christianity and what happens when the aesthetics and lifestyles of those three worlds collide. Highly recommended.—James E. Perone, Univ. of Mount Union, Alliance, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612540412
Publisher:
Brown Books Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Pages:
488
Sales rank:
264,708
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Tom Schedler
Unconquered clearly depicts the fascinating story of three great musical artists who were cousins in real life but icons in the world of music. Each man conquered life's roadblocks to achieve his ultimate goals. (Tom Schedler, Louisiana Secretary of State)
Neal McCoy
Being from the South and also in the music business, this book gave me a great insight into how these three guys grew up as cousins, as well as what made them choose the paths that eventually turned them all into the hugely successful business men that the entire world knows and loves. (Neal McCoy, country music artist)
Leon Russell
God, the devil, and everything in between. This book is a great representation of the duality plane on which we exist. (Leon Russell, legendary musician, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member)

Meet the Author

J. D. Davis has been a fan of the music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley much of his life. He spent several years researching the lives of these men for this book.

Davis was raised in Quitman, Texas, a quiet community in the piney woods of East Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree (with highest honors) in economics from the University of Texas and later received a master's degree from SMU. A successful actuary and businessman, he achieved the rare distinction of partnership in his twenties at the firm of Milliman, where he continues to manage a large consulting practice. He has three daughters and lives near Dallas.

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Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got to know Mickey personally for all hes been throw the old man can still sing
joaninreno More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for my Mom & had it shipped for free (because of my B & N membership). She loved the book and every time we talked she would share facts with me - so much so that I feel like I read the book. A great experience all around!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really insightful look at the lives of these three famous cousins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago