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Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley Hardcover – May 1, 2012


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Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley + Old Time Religion - Rare Recordings Of Jerry Lee Lewis In Church Preachin', Shoutin', and Singin'
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612540414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612540412
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

. . . this 3-in-1 bio is an entertaining and epic story of perseverance and the power of family ties. (Reviews, May 25, 2012)

From Library Journal

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. (Reviews, May 1, 2012)

More About 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 businessman and entrepreneur, he achieved the rare distinction of partnership in his twenties at a major actuarial consulting firm, where he continues to manage a large practice. He has three daughters and lives near Dallas.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 73 customer reviews
I is very very well written.
D
It covers Jerry Lee's career in Rock & Roll & in Country Music.
Gary Covington
Would recommend this book for reading enjoyment.
dennis j hesker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I met the author, J.D.Davis, at a pre-release book signing, that took place on Saturday, April 28, 2012, just prior to a Mickey Gilley, Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee's youngest sister) concert, in Natchez, Mississippi. Natchez is about 10 miles & across the Mississippi River, from Ferriday, Louisiana, the birthplace & hometown of Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley & Jimmy Lee Swaggart. This book is well documented, very well researched, and contains very reliable information. As the author pointed out, this is the first book that has ever addressed all three cousins collectively. The author spent countless hours, studying the history, ancestry, and life stories of these three famous Ferriday, cousins. He conducted numerous interviews with their family members, relatives, inlaws, "outlaws", friends & others, they grew up with in Ferriday, Louisiana. He also spent a lot of time collecting information from people involved in their adult lives and careers.

The author received a lot of information from numerous interviews, and discussions directly with Mickey Gilley. However, the author only received a very limited amount of information directly from Jerry Lee and Jimmy Swaggart, due to personal reasons of their own. However, Jerry Lee & Jimmy Lee were very friendly and cordial to the author.

All three of these cousins were born within a 12 month span, during the Great Depression, of the 1930's.

The book's title "Unconquered", comes from a game these 3 cousins played when they were growing up. One cousin would do a stunt, and challenge the other 2 cousins to match it. If you couldn't match the stunt, then you were "conquered". One day they rode their bicyles down the 10 mile strecth from Ferriday to the Vidalia-Natchez Bridge across the mighty Mississippi River.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Drayton E Dallas on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having been raised in the Assembly of God church, Unconquered brought back vivid memories of events and services that still bring both chills and peace to my soul.The music set the tone for the sermons that would cause fear and then bring hope for redemption.

Reading the book I could understand the internal struggles Jerry, Jimmy and Mickey had and probably still feel today.

More than just a "tri-ography" of the three cousins which in itself is fascinating, Unconquered shows the highs and lows of using God's given talents to do his will and your own.

Drayton Edwards, Dallas, TX
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anne on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating portrait of all three men. I found it more interesting as I got further into the book and was sorry when the book ended. Stark, but truthful, portrait of the times that fostered these three cousins. Refreshingly real and worth reading even if you are not a fan of any of these men.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer H. Barnes on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I come from a Pentecostal background and this trio of cousins have been discussed numerous times over coffee and lunch by myself and friends. You think you know things, but this book tells you the truth about things...it confirms the legends and negates the rumors.

Mr. Davis does a wonderful job of weaving their lives together (there is no other way to tell their stories) as well as focusing in on personal struggles and private demons of each man. Their talents are unquestionable. The way their individual families handled them is so different, though and the influence of each family had a great deal to do with where they ended up on the success continuum.

I love biographies for one major reason: I learn about family dynamics and the psychology behind how people end up where they do in life. It fascinates me and so I gravitate to biographical accounts. This book was very satisfying in that regard. Having been raised in a background similar to these men, it helped me to understand struggles I have encountered (they why factor) and to also reinforce my thinking that our choices are what matter most in this life.

You cannot remove religion from the palette that paints these men, so if you are a person who doesn't care to hear about such things, then don't read this book. The ever-present influence of religion and (to a greater degree) Pentecostalism is intrinsic to their story. Without that angle, there is no story. So, I'm letting any potential reader know now, this book dredges those depths.

Great book. I learned SO MUCH about these guys, and I have to say I've formed a new-found respect for Mickey Gilley because of this story. I liked him before, but after this book I do think he is an exceptional person.

Excellent work, JD Davis.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TR Stearns on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
UNCONQUERED
J. D. Davis
This novel, a saga of cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley portrays the humanness of character. The research, apparent throughout the reading, provides the reader with a deeper understanding of pressures placed upon humans who enter stardom.
Born within a twelve month period in the south, the author portrays how the climb to greatness and recognition works upon the inner teachings and strength of the individuals. Broken homes and marriages abound as they struggle to reach goals, set by ideals or comparisons drawn to other named greats of the era.
The author skillfully traces the life of each as they go through trials and tribulations leading to greatness and acceptance on stages of the world. Jerry Lee Lewis had a highly recognized talent; how he chose to utilize, abuse, and recapture leads the reader forward.
Jimmy Swaggart, renown as a gospel singer and evangelist makes a rapid climb from his humble upbringing to world acclaim, only to have personal transgressions rip the stability from under him. How he handles the calamities and moves forward with his personal life and spiritual calling provide interesting reading material.
Mickey Gilley, country star who built a huge dinner theater and accompanying rodeo, also traveled the road not so straight. How each participant deals with inter- and intra-personal issues provides fuel for the avid reader.
Written at a mid-level for difficulty, history buffs will gain an insight into an era of America's past that will provide illumination upon emergence of social aspects of the 21st century.
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