J. D. Davis
J.D. Davis was raised 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 Southern Methodist University. A successful businessman and entrepreneur, he achieved the rare distinction of partnership in his 20s at a major actuarial consulting firm where he manages a large practice. He has three daughters and lives near Dallas.
Will post information when available
Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley
Based on his love of music, American rural life and history, J.D. Davis spent several years earnestly researching Louisiana's famous piano-playing cousins, men about whom he has read and to whose music he has listened since childhood.
A fan first and foremost, Davis's expertise on these three famous cousins has continued to grow. He has devoted considerable time, energy and resources to writing a book that tells the remarkable story of Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley.
In 1935 and early 1936, three cousins were born into tight-knit families in Ferriday, La. Rare piano talent, strong parental relationships, the Pentecostal church, family struggle and a variety of musical influences worked together to produce men who changed 20th century music and culture. The individual stories of these three cousins illustrate their varied paths from small-town America to a world stage. Woven together, the collective story becomes even more compelling and amazing.
Unconquered is a story so unlikely that it would not be believable if written as fiction. It tells of rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and country music star Mickey Gilley. These men were raised together and share similar talents but were fated for entirely different destinies, even as their lives would always be profoundly intertwined. Born into poverty, each man, in his own way, would become an iconic figure blessed with the ability to thrill and inspire.
The story's touchstones of music, perseverance and faith could wield such force only in the American South. There, in northeast Louisiana’s Concordia Parish, their story began in the midst of the Great Depression.
About Ferriday, Louisiana
Nestled away in Concordia Parish just a few miles west of the Mississippi River lies the little town of Ferriday. Only slightly more than a century old and with only a few thousand people in the immediate area, it has surprisingly spawned several well-known personalities, including journalist Howard K. Smith, socialite Ann Boyar Warner and musician Peewee Whitaker.
It is also, most notably, the hometown of famous cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley, the subjects of Unconquered.
Ferriday's residents are warm and generous like those in most American small towns. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the state-supported Delta Music Museum, which honors the three cousins and other iconic music figures of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta region, including Fats Domino, Irma Thomas and Conway Twitty.
Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.