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Jerry Lee Lewis Southern Swagger (CD)

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1-CD-Album with 28-page booklet, 32 tracks. Playing time approx. 73 mns. A unique collection of...more

Jerry Lee Lewis: Southern Swagger (CD)

1-CD-Album with 28-page booklet, 32 tracks. Playing time approx. 73 mns.

A unique collection of Jerry Lee Lewis' most confident/sexually aggressive performances. Because sexual energy fuelled Jerry Lee Lewis' best music, 'Southern Swagger' is a very powerful collection that stands with his 'Best Of' compilation. The collection covers his entire Sun period through his early 1970s recordings and includes rare alternate takes and mixes.

Southern Swagger Nobody had more of it than Jerry Lee Lewis. He was the menace every parent had in mind when the cry went out, 'Lock up your daughters!' A wild man on the loose. 'If the good Lord made anything better than a woman,' Jerry Lee famously observed, 'He kept it for himself.' Jerry Lee Lewis had no illusions about himself. Through a long and varied life, he has remained true to his inner demons. And we have those demons to thank for some of the rawest, most honest and inspired music in the history of rock 'n' roll.

The tracks on this album are drawn from Jerry Lee Lewis' earliest years on the Sun label in Memphis, with a few added examples from the next decade at Mercury Records. Jerry Lee Lewis was barely past his teenage years when he began recording the music we present here. Each track, in its own way, reflects something about Jerry Lee Lewis' view of the universe and his place in it. As philosophies go, this one is pretty simple: Raising hell and chasing women are what it's all about.

As this disc reveals, Jerry Lee Lewis' swagger was not something he developed as his career and reputation grew. It was there from the very earliest days. Even on his later country-based sides for Mercury,
Jerry Lee Lewis is still irrepressible. Whether he's playing the role of pathetic loser, beaten-down lover or dumb schmuck who's about to get left behind, Jerry Lee Lewis still manages to sound like he's come out on top. That, of course, is part of his enduring appeal.

Jerry Lee Lewis could hardly keep that confidence, that bravado, that Southern Swagger under control. Sometimes it reared its lustful, sneering head in his music. A phrase here, an aside there. Until now, samples of Jerry Lee Lewis' Southern Swagger have been scattered over his entire career, buried like little time bombs among hundreds of singles and albums. For the first time, we gather a lusty collection of such performances on a single CD - both the issued tracks as well as some originally unissued alternate takes. For good measure, we throw in some unguarded studio chatter. This CD offers the best look ever at what makes Jerry Lee Lewis the royalty of Southern Swagger. In a field dominated by super-size egos, Jerry Lee Lewis is still King.

Article properties:Jerry Lee Lewis: Southern Swagger (CD)

Lewis, Jerry Lee - Southern Swagger (CD) CD 1
01Mean Woman BluesJerry Lee Lewis
02Drinkin' Wine Spo Dee O DeeJerry Lee Lewis
03Whole Lotta Shakin' Going OnJerry Lee Lewis
04Big Legged WomanJerry Lee Lewis
05Lewis BoogieJerry Lee Lewis
06chatterJerry Lee Lewis
07Great Balls Of Fire (movie version)Jerry Lee Lewis
08Keep Your Hands Off Of It/Birthday CakeJerry Lee Lewis
09Ubangi StompJerry Lee Lewis
10End Of The RoadJerry Lee Lewis
11DixieJerry Lee Lewis
12Deep Elem BluesJerry Lee Lewis
13It'll Be MeJerry Lee Lewis
14Introduction & Cool, Cool Ways (Sexy Ways)Jerry Lee Lewis
15Honey HushJerry Lee Lewis
16All Night LongJerry Lee Lewis
17You Can't Help ItJerry Lee Lewis
18Good Rockin' TonightJerry Lee Lewis
19Lovin' Up A StormJerry Lee Lewis
20Rockin' With RedJerry Lee Lewis
21I've Been Twistin'Jerry Lee Lewis
22Down The LineJerry Lee Lewis
23Sixty Minute ManJerry Lee Lewis
24Ooby DoobyJerry Lee Lewis
25Wild One (Real Wild Child)Jerry Lee Lewis
26Carrying On (Sexy Ways)Jerry Lee Lewis
27Baby, Hold Me CloseJerry Lee Lewis
28Break My MindJerry Lee Lewis
29Since I Met You BabyJerry Lee Lewis
30Time Changes EverythingJerry Lee Lewis
31Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm GoneJerry Lee Lewis
32Meat ManJerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis - Obituary  The Pumping Piano Man will rock the... more
"Jerry Lee Lewis"

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis - Obituary 

The Pumping Piano Man will rock the house no more.

Jerry Lee Lewis, whose youthful wildhair ways defined rock and roll as indelibly as his leering, lascivious vocals and thundering skills on the 88s, died October 28, 2022 at the age of 87. Against all odds, he was one of the last legends standing from the days when Sam Phillips built an astonishing talent roster for his Sun Records. When Lewis appeared on his doorstep in 1956, determined to show the folks in charge precisely what he could do to a defenseless piano, the Memphis label had already bid adieu to Elvis and was riding high thanks to Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and a posse of other raucous rockabillies. 

Still, Jerry Lee would captivate Sam—and the world--like no other, despite suffering monumental damage from a 1958 scandal involving his precocious child bride (who also happened to be his cousin) that would have ended any other performer’s career permanently. Jerry Lee, like Old Man River, just kept on rolling along, regenerating his popularity first with the rock and roll crowd and then veering into the country field with tremendous success. Long after he achieved senior citizen status (who would have ever foreseen that happening to the hard-living Lewis?), the Killer insisted on rocking as hard as his health would allow.

Born September 29, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana, Lewis grew up with a pair of piano-playing cousins, Mickey Gilley (who followed in Jerry Lee’s rocking footsteps) and future evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Lewis cited country greats Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams as primary influences, along with a little bit of Al Jolson and some of the sweaty blues that he snuck into hear at Haney’s Big House, Ferriday’s top black juke joint. He mostly refused to admit to any pianists as role models, although his 88s-playing cousin Carl McVoy impressed him. So did sightless piano wizard Paul Whitehead when the two played together in Natchez circa 1952. A brief stint at a Texas bible college ended when Jerry Lee transformed My God Is Real into a heathenous boogie, but gospel music always remained close to his heart. 

Lewis honed his act in clubs from Natchez to Nashville prior to the auspicious trip to Memphis that landed Lewis his audition with Sun producer Jack Clement. Jack was impressed, and before long he rolled tape when Jerry Lee launched into his hot-rodded treatment of Ray Price’s recent country hit Crazy Arms. Sun pressed it up, and Lewis was on the musical map. Phillips knew he’d found someone truly special, and let tape roll whenever Jerry Lee found his way to 706 Union Avenue to pump Phillips’ studio piano. One of the many disparate songs Lewis waxed for Sun was the rip-roaring Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On, already waxed elsewhere by fellow piano man Roy Hall and mountainous blues belter Big Maybelle. Jerry Lee tightened up his rafter-rattling version during a long night at the Twin Gables in Blytheville, Arkansas. Then he cut it for Sun with guitarist Roland Janes, drummer J.M. Van Eaton, and Jerry Lee’s cousin, J.W. Brown, on electric bass.  

Issued as his encore single, Whole Lot Of Shakin’ was an across-the-board juggernaut during the summer of 1957. Lewis was suddenly starring on network television, headlining star-studded package shows, and raising hell wherever he went, playing pianos with his feet, kicking their benches, standing atop them and tearing them apart with the sheer ferocity of his performances. Things escalated to a fever pitch with his next Sun single, the flammable Otis Blackwell-penned smash Great Balls Of Fire. Lewis went right back to Blackwell for Breathless, another major hit. High School Confidential, the title song to the movie of the same name (in which Lewis memorably appeared on a flatbed truck under the opening credits), was on its way to similar blockbuster status when news hit of his betrothal to his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gail, bassist Brown’s daughter. Jerry Lee was instantly toxic, his career in tatters. 

Slowly but surely, he came back. Sam never gave up on him, continuing to issue a stream of Lewis platters until Jerry exited the fading label in 1963 to sign with Mercury’s Smash subsidiary. At first, Jerry Lee continued relentlessly rocking, but in ’68 he switched to country music and proved every bit as sensational as he was a decade earlier in the rock arena, posting an avalanche of hits and completing his comeback. Lewis would alternate between rock and country in decades to come, ferociously stoking his own outsized legend with seven wives, a 1989 movie based rather loosely on his life, and enough insane antics both offstage and on to fill the pages of several highly entertaining biographies. Bear Family has compiled a series of lavish boxed sets over the years covering much of the Killer’s amazing career.

No pianist ever rocked a boogie-woogie with more single-minded panache than the Killer. He was truly one of a kind.       --Bill Dahl

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Tracklist
Lewis, Jerry Lee - Southern Swagger (CD) CD 1
01 Mean Woman Blues
02 Drinkin' Wine Spo Dee O Dee
03 Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
04 Big Legged Woman
05 Lewis Boogie
06 chatter
07 Great Balls Of Fire (movie version)
08 Keep Your Hands Off Of It/Birthday Cake
09 Ubangi Stomp
10 End Of The Road
11 Dixie
12 Deep Elem Blues
13 It'll Be Me
14 Introduction & Cool, Cool Ways (Sexy Ways)
15 Honey Hush
16 All Night Long
17 You Can't Help It
18 Good Rockin' Tonight
19 Lovin' Up A Storm
20 Rockin' With Red
21 I've Been Twistin'
22 Down The Line
23 Sixty Minute Man
24 Ooby Dooby
25 Wild One (Real Wild Child)
26 Carrying On (Sexy Ways)
27 Baby, Hold Me Close
28 Break My Mind
29 Since I Met You Baby
30 Time Changes Everything
31 Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
32 Meat Man