I was born and raised in the time when Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart each rose to fame. I even saw Jerry Lee in concert and played a song on the piano for him when he appeared with Hank Williams Junior at what was then called the Masonic Temple in Scranton PA. And unlike the stories that are written about him in the book stating how in the later years of his musical career he was moody and could be very difficult to work with, as well as not very hospitable to his adoring fans, I found him to be a perfect gentleman and very gracious to me. So his story was of particular interest to me.
And having been raised in a home where God, Country Music and Hunting were an important part of life, I was raised hearing the original music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, and Jimmy Swaggart along with the music of many other music legends such as Elvis Presley who is referred to in the book as we was friends with Jerry Lee Lewis. And I was one of the millions who used to watch Jimmy Swaggart on TV enjoying both his music and his ministry of the Word.
Unconquered is a realistic and honest look at the lives of the three famous cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley, all musically talented and gifted in certain areas of life, and what ultimately happened to them and their careers. This book does not paint any pretty pictures that should not be painted about any one of the three, but rather, the story is written like it really was so that those of us who read the book can get an up close and personal glimpse of what their lives were really like. And for them life was hard, brutally hard, and each one of the cousins developed their one way of dealing and coping with the harsh realities of their life. And despite their differences in personalities and spiritual beliefs there was one cord that did keep them somewhat bonded as cousins and that was their love of and passion for music and performing it...from Jerry Lee's rockabilly style of music to Mickey Gilley's smooth country style of music and then Jimmy Swaggart's old-time religion Gospel Music. Other than being cousins and their music they really did not have too much else in common.
The book reveals how the cousins lived dangerously and lived hard growing up into adulthood with Jerry Lee remaining unconquered in one area of their lives but you will have to read the book to learn what that is. It goes on to share the vast differences in each of their lives - the good, the bad and the ugly including Jerry Lee's overwhelming success as a rockabilly Country Music artist to his battle with alcohol, drugs and fidelity; from Mickey Gilley's humble beginnings to his becoming a Country Music legend and the owner and star performer at Gilley's, a world-renowned honky-tonk established in 1971 in Pasadena Texas; and finally to Jimmy Swaggart's modest beginnings in the ministry to his success as a Gospel Music artist and to the creation of a world-wide Gospel-Preaching ministry and then to his never to be forgotten fall from grace due to sexual immorality, and his path back again to the ministry.
It is written on the back cover of the book, "With three personal journeys set alongside important landmarks in pop-culture history, author Davis presents a unique tale of American music centered on the trials, tribulations, and achievements of three men who remain truly Unconquered..." and I would have to agree.
Once I picked this book up and began to read it, I found it hard to put down. I can blame the book for more than one night of being up late when I should have been in bed, but I could not help myself. The book was just too interesting. I felt I had to read just a few more pages before I finally went to bed and I think if you are a lover of a good story and country music, you will find this book to be as captivating and as interesting a read as I did.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book at no cost from the Brown Books Publishing Group Company for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."