Home » Who was Jerry Lee Lewis (Jerry Lee Lewis, notorious US rock’n’roll star, dies aged 87)Wiki,Bio,Age,Death,More Quick and Facts
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Who was Jerry Lee Lewis (Jerry Lee Lewis, notorious US rock’n’roll star, dies aged 87)Wiki,Bio,Age,Death,More Quick and Facts

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis Wiki

                    Jerry Lee Lewis Biography

Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock’n’roll pioneer who became one of the most infamous figures in popular music, has died aged 87.

Jerry Lee Lewis, the indomitable rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose outrageous talent, energy and ego collided on such defining records as “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and sustained a career that would otherwise would be affected by personal scandals. , he died Friday morning at the age of 87.

The last survivor of a generation of groundbreaking artists that included Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Lewis died at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, representative Zach Farnum said in a statement.

Of all the rock rebels to emerge in the 1950s, few captured the lure and danger of the new genre as unforgettably as the Louisiana-born pianist who called himself “The Killer.”

It’s better to leave tender ballads for the old. Lewis was all about lust and gratification, with its raunchy tenor and demanding asides, violent tempos and cheeky glissandi, arrogant banter and crazy blonde hair. A one-man stampede that had fans screaming and keyboards swearing, his live act was so combustible that during a 1957 performance of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” on “The Steve Allen Show,” he They threw chairs. like buckets of water over an inferno.


But in his private life, he raged in a way that could have ended his career today, and he nearly did back then.

For a brief time, in 1958, he was a candidate to replace Presley as rock’s leading hitmaker after Elvis was drafted into the Army. But while Lewis was on tour in England, the press learned of three damaging things: he was married to Myra Gale Brown, aged 13 (possibly even 12), she was his cousin, and he was still married to his previous wife. of the. . His tour was cancelled, he was blacklisted from radio and his earnings dropped overnight to practically nothing.

“I probably would have rearranged my life a little bit differently, but I never hid anything from people,” Lewis told the Wall Street Journal in 2014 when asked about the marriage. “I just went on with my life as usual.”

Over the next several decades, Lewis battled drug and alcohol abuse, legal disputes, and physical illness. Two of his many marriages ended with the untimely death of his wife. Brown herself divorced him in the early 1970s and would later allege physical and mental cruelty that nearly drove her to suicide.

“If she was still married to Jerry, she would probably be dead by now,” she told People magazine in 1989.

FILE-Jerry Lee Lewis rests his foot on the piano as he leans back and acknowledges the applause of fans during the fifth annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 14, 1975.
Lewis reinvented himself as a country artist in the 1960s, and the music industry eventually forgave him, long after he had stopped making hits. He won three Grammy Awards and recorded with some of the biggest stars in the business. In 2006, Lewis released “Last Man Standing,” with Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King and George Jones. In 2010, Lewis brought in Jagger, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw and others for the “Mean Old Man” album.

In “The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll,” first published in 1975, he recalled how he convinced disc jockeys to give him a second chance.

“This time I said, ‘Look, man, let’s get together and put an end to these things: a peace treaty, you know,'” he explained. Lewis was still playing the old hits on stage, but on the radio he was singing country.

Lewis had a 10-hit country streak between 1967 and 1970, and it barely softened. He performed drinking songs like “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me),” the wandering confessions of “She Still Comes Around,” and a dry-eyed version of a classic walkout ballad, “She Even Woke Me Up.” to say goodbye.” It remained popular in Europe and a 1964 album, “Live at the Star Club, Hamburg,” is widely regarded as one of the best concert records.


Lewis was married seven times and was rarely far from trouble or death. His fourth wife, Jaren Elizabeth Gunn Pate, drowned in a swimming pool in 1982 while she was filing for divorce. His fifth wife, Shawn Stephens, 23 years his junior, died of an apparent drug overdose in 1983. Within a year, Lewis had married Kerrie McCarver, then 21. She filed for divorce in 1986, accusing him of physical abuse and infidelity. He countersued, but ultimately both petitions were dismissed. They finally divorced in 2005 after several years of separation. The couple had a son, Jerry Lee III.

Another son from a previous marriage, Steve Allen Lewis, age 3, drowned in a swimming pool in 1962, and their son Jerry Lee Jr. died in a car accident at age 19 in 1973. Lewis also had two daughters, Phoebe and Lori Leigh, and is survived by his wife Judith.

His finances were also chaotic. Lewis made millions, but he liked his money in cash and ended up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Internal Revenue Service. When he began entertaining tourists in 1994 at his former residence near Nesbit, Mississippi, with a piano-shaped swimming pool, he set up a 900 phone number that fans could call to receive a recorded message at $2.75 a pop. minute.

Lewis, the son of former bootlegger Elmo Lewis and cousin of television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart and country star Mickey Gilley, was born in Ferriday, Louisiana. When he was a child, he first learned to play the guitar, but found the instrument too limited and longed for an instrument that only rich people in his town could afford: a piano. His life changed when his father pulled up to his truck one day and gave him a set of dark wood upright keyboards.

“My eyes almost fell out of my head,” Lewis recalled in “Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story,” written by Rick Bragg and published in 2014.

“No group, be it (the) Beatles, Dylan or the Stones, has ever bettered ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ for my money,” John Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970.

A 20-year-old roadhouse veteran, Lewis left for Memphis in 1956 and performed at the Sun Records studios, the musical home of Elvis, Perkins and Cash. Company founder Sam Phillips told him to go learn some rock and roll, Lewis returned and soon sang “Whole Lotta Shakin'” in one take.

“I knew it was a hit when I cut it,” he said later. “Sam Phillips thought it was going to be too risky, he couldn’t do it. If that’s risky, well, I’m sorry.”

Rock & Roll Hall

In 1986, along with Elvis, Chuck Berry and others, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s inaugural class of inductees. The Killer not only outlasted his contemporaries, but saw his life and music periodically reintroduced to younger fans, including in the 1989 biopic “Great Balls of Fire” starring Dennis Quaid and the Ethan Quaid documentary. Coen’s 2022 “Trouble in Mind”. A 2010 Broadway score, “Million Dollar Quartet,” was inspired by a recording session that featured Lewis, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.

He won a Grammy in 1987 as part of an interview album that was cited as the best spoken word recording, and received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2005. The following year, “Whole Lotta Shakin'” was selected for the National Music Award. the Library of Congress. Recording Registry, whose board praised the “propelling piano boogie that perfectly complemented the energetic drum drive of J.M. Van Eaton. Listeners to the recording, like Lewis himself, had a hard time staying seated during the performance.”

A classmate at Bible school, Pearry Green, recalled meeting Lewis years later and asked her if she still played the devil’s music.

“Yes, I am,” Lewis replied. “But you know it’s weird, the same music they kicked me out of school for is the same kind of music they play in their churches today. The difference is that I know I’m playing for the devil and they don’t”.

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