By Howard Pousner
Fans of Lewis Grizzard, who authored books including “Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself,” should be feeling pretty good themselves right about now due to a veritable renaissance in the Southern humorist’s work.
NewSouth Books and Green-E Books are reintroducing a number of long-out-of-print titles by the AJC columnist, who died in 1994, and a touring one-man show drawn from his life and writings is returning in January to Stone Mountain’s ART Station.
NewSouth Books has re-released “Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself” and “They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat” in paperback and e-versions. Green E-Books has re-released four other titles as e-books: “If Love Were Oil, I’d Be About a Quart Low,” ” Don’t Bend Over in the Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes,” “I Took a Lickin’ and Kept on Tickin’ and Now I Believe in Miracles” and “When My Love Returns From the Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old To Care?”
NewSouth also plans to re-release two more titles in early 2012: “If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground” and “My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of a Gun.”
Grizzard’s books had been out of print for 12 years, because his widow, Dedra Grizzard, said she had trouble finding a publisher who fully appreciated the potential of her late husband’s writings or who was big enough to market the books. Nor was she willing to cede the rights.
“These two publishers understand Lewis’ audience, and are committed to bringing Lewis’ work back to the market,” she said in a statement.
Helping keep the Grizzard brand vital has been Bill Oberst Jr., coming back to ART Station for the 10th consecutive year with the show “Lewis Grizzard: In His Own Words,” Jan. 20-22. The script is drawn from Grizzard’s books, columns and stand-up act. Tickets for the five performances are $29, $24 seniors and students, available via 770-469-1105, www.artstation.org.
All the re-released titles are available at www.amazon.com and www.bn.com. More information: www.newsouthbooks.com or www.lewisgrizzard.com.