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October 28, 2022 1:16 pm  #1

Great Balls Of Fire's Jerry Lee Lewis Dies At 87

A few days ago, TMZ had to retract a story about early rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis dying. It now appears they were simply too early. 

The Killer, as he was known, was one of the pioneers of early rockabilly and led a life that had enormous highs (some enormous hits and a bio of his life that was a hit movie) and some big lows (marrying his 13-year-old cousin in the 50s, which almost destroyed his career.)

He didn't have a huge string of hits ("Great Balls Of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin'" were the two biggest) but his outlandish behaviour and his stage presence has forever elevated him into rock and roll legendary status. Even the Beatles took notice.

“Great Balls of Fire,” a sexualized take on Biblical imagery that Lewis initially refused to record, and “Whole Lotta Shakin’” were his most enduring songs and performance pieces. Lewis had only a handful of other pop hits, including “High School Confidential” and “Breathless,” but they were enough to ensure his place as a rock ‘n’ roll architect.
“No group, be it (the) Beatles, Dylan or Stones, have ever improved on ’Whole Lotta Shakin” for my money,” John Lennon would tell Rolling Stone in 1970.

He was a character from another time that we are unlikely to see again. He was 87.

Jerry Lee Lewis, outrageous rock ‘n’ roll star, dies at 87


October 28, 2022 5:39 pm  #2

Re: Great Balls Of Fire's Jerry Lee Lewis Dies At 87

Somebody once said Jerry Lee's Live at the Star Club Hamburg wasn't an album, it was
a crime scene. Backed by the Nashville Teens, it remains one of the greatest concert
recordings EVER.
Good as it is, my favorite Lewis live track came from his Mercury years -- Charlie
Rich's Who Will The Next Fool Be. One of the many reasons I'm so happy I grew
up listening to the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis.
I'll tell ya, they're rockin' in Rock and Roll Heaven tonight!

Last edited by mike marshall (October 28, 2022 6:05 pm)


October 28, 2022 9:26 pm  #3

Re: Great Balls Of Fire's Jerry Lee Lewis Dies At 87

One of the great Rockers. One of our local radio stations here in the Tampa Bay area played two hours of his music. Some of it I had never heard before, including some gospel music.

I dom't have a religious bone in my body. I'm a non-believer. But I have a weakness for gospel music.

You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.

October 28, 2022 11:54 pm  #4

Re: Great Balls Of Fire's Jerry Lee Lewis Dies At 87

At the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lewis was backed up by the E Street Band.
Springsteen himself introduced him.  
"I would like to introduce one of my heroes.  He doesn't play rock and roll....he is Rock and Roll....Jerry Lee Lewis."


October 29, 2022 9:32 pm  #5

Re: Great Balls Of Fire's Jerry Lee Lewis Dies At 87

Another side of the story you don't hear very often. It comes from Myra Williams, the 13-year-old cousin Lewis married, resulting in a scandal that all but ruined his career for many years. She's 78 now, and has quite a tale to tell, including how her father went after Lewis with a rifle when he heard the two had gotten hitched. 

"I was called the child bride, but I was the adult and Jerry was the child," says Williams. "When I look back on it, how can you defend yourself when you're 13 years old? I mean there's no excuse good enough for that to be okay."

Jerry Lee Lewis' teenage bride speaks out: 'I was the adult and Jerry was the child'

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