Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

by Rick Bragg


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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, 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.”

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062078247
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 381,359
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rick Bragg is the author of a trilogy of bestselling books on the people of the American South. He is a professor of writing at the University of Alabama.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Date of Birth:

July 26, 1959

Place of Birth:

Possum Trot, Alabama


Attended Jacksonville State University for six months in 1970; attended Harvard University, 1992-1993

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Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
DickensianVA More than 1 year ago
If you grew up with early Rock and Roll and appreciate an award winning Southern writer, then ready yourself for a well written and fascinating biography! Jerry Lee is just as unique and more than you thought!
JustMyTwoCents More than 1 year ago
A well--written and researched biography of a difficult to like subject. I was trying to put my finger on why I both liked and disliked this biography and Judy42NC's comments seemed to hit home.  Jerry Lee Lewis  is, to me, just a very difficult person to even like, let alone admire. Certainly he was talented and certainly he had a particular flair that set him apart from other performers, but he was simply too juvenile, too self-centered, too jealous of his peers, and too much in denial of his short-comings to like him as a person, and there seems like no amount of fine writing can take the reader past the fact that he was a lout. One thing that stood out for me and that I had to remind myself was that while Jerry Lee did not co-write this biography, he did cooperate and so Bragg did his best to balance the depictions of Jerry Lee's drinking, drugging, and treatment of women between how Jerry Lee saw his behavior and the reality of the situation--it probably wasn't an easy task, and I give this author credit in striking that right chord. I would look for more work by this author. 
Judy42NC More than 1 year ago
I am not a fan of Jerry Lee Lewis. I ordered this book for my husband as a gift since he loves reading all Rick Bragg's writing. As usual, Rick wrote a good book. I wish that I could rate his writing only and not the subject matter. My husband did not finish the book, because he did not care for Jerry's mindset of doing whatever he wanted without thought as to how his choices affected those whose lives he touched. His life is not an example to follow. I suffered through the book to the end. I did some research into the cousins and other musicians as well as watching Jerry on YouTube. I was a teenager when he came on the music scene, but I never liked his most famous songs. Give me Elvis any day. I concluded that Jerry's antics were much like some of the current singers who use gimmicks to attract an audience. Bravo to Rick Bragg for all the research that he did to get this long story into print. I hope that he will write some more books like Ava's Man or choose an admirable person as his subject. Jerry's life story is not uplifting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would read anything written by Rick Bragg. He has the most beautiful way of stringing words together. Sometimes I stop and re-read a line just to savor it over again. I've never been a big fan of Jerry Lee Lewis' music and I will say it got a big tiresome reading about his decades of doing whatever he felt like doing and to hell with everyone else. It was an interesting life story and Bragg does a fine job telling it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely one of the finest bios I've read.... the integration of LA history and Jerry's family coupled with the religious influences that inspired him, was a touch of writing creativity.  Jerry's association with Elvis, Buddy, and his band members added much interest in the bio line.   Rick Bragg facilitated an amazing account of Jerry's life that to me, was a real 'page-turner'.   Most interesting was the energy and determination that Jerry always possessed for his music and fans.  Any person that desires to learn about the beginnings of R n' R, should delight in the 'words' Bragg and Jerry Lee composed.    Excellent book.   Rick M.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I became totally enthralled. I of course in between reading had to stop and watch videos on utube. Can't get enough. I was only 11 when he first started recording, and did not realize he was one of the founders of rock and roll. Would love to see him play in person.