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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Basketball, Rick Bragg on Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fred Chappell
Duke plays UNC--tonight at The Regulator!
We have just three more author events this month, but we think you'll agree we're finishing our year in style.
--Tonight Johnny Moore (Duke Blue) and Art Chansky (Carolina Blue) will tell some great local basketball stories.
--Friday night Rick Bragg will talk about wild music and wild and crazy goings-on, Jerry Lee Lewis style.
--And next Tuesday Fred Chappell will elevate the common house cat to literary and poetic art. Read more below!
Our Final Events of the Year:
Tonight at 7:00 Duke and UNC go at it on the basketball court once again--right here at The Regulator!
Johnny Moore, publisher of the Blue Devil Weekly and Carolina grad/fan Art Chansky, former sports editor of the Durham Morning Herald will talk about their new book, The Blue Divide: Duke, North Carolina, and the Battle on Tobacco Road. Die-hard fans of both shades of blue will love all the inside info in this book on the coaches, players, and great games of this storied rivalry. Johnny Moore promises he will show up even if it snows....
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Then Friday night at 7:00 we'll have another big time at the old bookshop when
First let's hear from Ann Patchett about this book: "I loved every amphetamine-laced, whiskey-soaked, gun-shot page of it." OK. So we got that out of the way. This is a really good book. As for the book's subject? Jerry Lee Lewis? Pulitzer prize winner Rick Bragg has some great material to work with here. You couldn't make this stuff up.
Quoting from Stephen King's review of Rick Bragg's book in last Sunday's New York Times:
Jerry Lee was a breech baby who came into the world (in a small town in Louisiana) feet first. The doctor showed up in time to do the delivery, but passed out before things got serious. Jerry Lee's father, Elmo delivered the baby himself as his wife, Mamie, deep in labor, exhorted him to be careful of the arms and head.
By the age of 10, Jerry Lee was sneaking into a local blues emporium called Haney's Big House (he urged his cousin, Jimmy Swaggart, to come with him, but Jimmy, fearing damnation, refused). Jerry Lee later tried the ministry himself, enrolling in the Southwestern Bible Institute, but was expelled for playing "My God Is Real" boogie-woogie style. The piney woods come-to-Jesus religion he was raised in never left him (early in his recording career, he shared his belief - recorded in the Sun studios, and at top volume - that he was going to hell for singing "Great Balls of Fire"), but the call of secular music was too strong. Put simply, he was born to rock, and rock he did, through seven marriages( including one to his 13 year old third cousin), the deaths of two children, hundreds of honky-tonk hookups and more than a few wrecked cars, addiction to painkillers, surgical removal of a third of his stomach, constant (and undoubtedly justified) harassment by the I.R.S., bankruptcy, and a Rolling Stone article by Richard Ben Cramer suggesting he may have murdered Shawn Stephens, his fifth wife.
Jerry Lee Lewis was the first person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When John Lennon met him, he dropped to his knees and kissed Lewis' feet. Mick Jagger once waited to have his Jerry Lee albums signed.
Stephen King ends his review with this:
My mother first clapped eyes on Jerry Lee Lewis in 1958, when he performed "Great Balls of Fire" on one of Dick Clark's shows. There he was in all his leopard skin glory, with his long blond hair flying and flash-pots going off in the background. Most acts lip-synced, but that was never Lewis's way. My mother - no slouch at the keyboard herself, and more than willing to play barrelhouse boogie on the Methodist church piano after she'd had a drink or two - was transfixed. When the performance was over, after less than two minutes of high-tension rock 'n' roll, she said softly, wonderingly, "I think that young man is crazy." Then she added, almost to herself, "But he can play the piano like the Devil lit his behind on fire."
Come hear the Pulitzer Prize winning son of Possum Trot Alabama talk about his new book, and of the two summers he spent talking with Jerry Lee Lewis. Along with the book, we will also have Lewis's new cd, "Rock and Roll Time" available for sale. And....well it just seems right. We'll be sharing some "liquid refreshment" Friday night as well.
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Then for our final event of the year, we're very much looking forward to welcoming one of our very favorite North Carolina writers, Fred Chappell next Tuesday at 7:00.
Fred is probably best known for his wonderful novels set in the mountains of North Carolina-Farewell, I Am Bound to Leave You and I Am One of You Forever. But Fred Chappell is also a remarkable poet. He has won the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and he was Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Fred will read from his latest volume of poetry, Familiars.
The poems here are all about cats. I am a dog person myself, and tend to view cats as a sometimes necessary annoyance. People I love love them, and hey, they keep the mice out of the house. But every poem I turn to in this book is marvelous, which has me believing that Fred Chappell is indeed quite an accomplished poet! And maybe I should give cats a second chance (which is, of course, more than they would give me!....).
A signed copy of Familiars would make an excellent present for the literary cat lover on your list.
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One Final Note:
This Saturday, from 12:30 to 2:30, yet another duo of local acoustic musicians will be playing in the store. Enjoy listening to some wonderful music from Sarah Kielar (hammered dulcimer) and Lynn Hayes (guitar and bouzouki) while you shop!