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Download Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rick Bragg Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For nearly sixty years, Jerry Lee Lewis has been a monumental figure in American life. The wildest and most dangerous of the early rock and rollers, he electrified the world with hit records such as “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Breathless.” His music was raucous, exuberant, slyly sexual, and his wailing vocals were grounded by the locomotive force of his pumping piano. But his persona and performing style were what changed the world. Whipping his long hair back, he would pound the keyboard like a coal-fired steam engine, then kick back the bench, climb atop the piano, and work the audience like the Pentecostal preacher he almost became. Poised to steal the crown from Elvis Presley, he seemed unstoppable—until news of his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin broke during his first British tour, nearly ending his career.

Now for the first time, Lewis’ story is told in full as he shared it over a two-year period with Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Rick Bragg. In a narrative rich with atmosphere and anecdote, we watch Jerry Lee emerge from the fields and levees of depression-era Louisiana, blazing a path across Bible colleges and nightclubs en route to international fame. He shared bills with Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry, toured Australia with Buddy Holly and Paul Anka, and went Cadillac for Cadillac with Elvis on the streets of Memphis—even as both of them struggled with the conflict between their faith and their music. After a decade in the wilderness, he returned as the biggest star in country music, but his victory lap became a marathon of excess—a time of guns, pills, and Calvert Extra. He crashed Rolls-Royces and Lincolns, including one he drove into the gates of Graceland; suffered the deaths of wives and loved ones; and nearly met his maker twice himself. Yet after six marriages, a long spell without a recording contract, and a bruising battle with the IRS, he overcame a crippling addiction, remarried, and scored his biggest hit records since the 1970s. As he approaches his eightieth year, he continues to electrify audiences around the world.

The story of Jerry Lee Lewis has inspired songs, articles, books, and film. But in these pages, Rick Bragg restores a human complexity missing from other accounts. The result is a story of fire, faith, and resilience, informed by Rick Bragg’s deep understanding of the American spirit and rich with Jerry Lee’s own unforgettable voice.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There’s plenty of richness in Rick Bragg’s retelling of the Killer’s life…Bragg, a former reporter for the New York Times, hits all the legendary moments, both high and low…Worth reading.”

    Stephen King

  • “No writer is better suited than Rick Bragg to tell Lewis’ story. The result is a biography with the memorable language and narrative drive we expect only from the finest novels…the best book on rock and roll I have ever read.”

    Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of The Cove

  • “An iconic rocker receives a warm, admiring biography from a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author…Throughout, Bragg displays his characteristic frisky prose…From a skilled storyteller comes this entertaining, sympathetic story of a life flaring with fire, shuddering with shakin’.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
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