Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Rick Bragg speaks at lecture event

Pulitzer-Prize winning author and University of Alabama professor Rick Bragg told stories to a crowded gathering of friends and fans at a lecture event hosted by Alpine Living magazine Wednesday evening. The event, which draws a large crowd every two years, serves as one of the student-run travel magazine’s biggest fundraisers.

Bragg, author of several books, focused his story-telling abilities on that of his most recent book, “Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story,” a biography of one of Rock and Roll’s most influential piano players and most colorful characters.

“He was crazy,” Bragg said of Lewis, “and not even a good crazy. But he really was in on the birth of Rock and Roll.”

Bragg told stories of Lewis’s talents and his flaws, his triumphs and his failures. Fielding questions from the audience, Bragg spoke in detail about Lewis’s complicated but important relationship with Elvis Presley and his clashes with rock-great Chuck Berry.

“Professor Bragg has been so gracious to offer his time again for Alpine Living’s benefit,” said Anne Rae Gwarjanski, Alpine Living’’s Managing Editor and a graduate student in the department of journalism. 

“He is incredibly well-traveled, and his storytelling abilities are second to none,” she said.

In addition to stories about Lewis, Bragg discussed the steps associated with producing the book, the “blood popping out on the forehead, hating being alive—all the normal steps of the writing process,” Bragg said.

Jerry Lee Lewis’s story was chronicled over a three-year period of interviews with Bragg in which he recorded every detail in spiral-bound notebooks.

Bragg noted throughout the process that Lewis was one of the most honest people he has ever worked with, but that his honesty, as a wild character, was not always attractive.

Alpine Living a program for journalism students to travel to European countries every two years and showcase their writing and production skills, is entirely self-funded, and the program thrives thanks to events like this, said Wilson Lowrey, Department Chair of Journalism.

“The kids have really worked hard on this event and this publication,” said Lowrey. “We really appreciate all of your support.”

For its Sixth Edition, Alpine Living will be venturing to the United Kingdom later this spring with 20 staff members to document life in the British Isles.

To learn more about the magazine and to keep up with its upcoming publications, visit @AlpineLiving on Twitter and Facebook.

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