He said that made it real and millions of fans apparently agreed with him because it earned him a Grammy, revived his career and perhaps saved his life.
Much has been written about his awards, his four marriages and his escapades, especially driving his lawnmower to a liquor store when his wife hid the car keys or trying 83 times to get a song right in a recording session.
His 1997 autobiography was entitled “I Lived to Tell It All.”
As his lifelong fan, I’m glad that he lived to sing it all.
Keith Kappes is a columnist for The Morehead (Ky.) News. Contact him at email@example.com.