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Who was/is Jerry Lee Lewis ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more


Jerry Lee Lewis rocks.

Well, of course he does. "I come out feet first and been jumpin' ever since," he has told interviewers for many years. He has been rocking for as long as most of us can remember, and now his face is a personal geography that speaks of the toll that rock 'n' roll can exact.

Rock 'n' roll music and the rock 'n' roll lifestyle; Jerry Lee has done as much as anyone to define both. The miles, the wives, the hits, the pills. He has lived and sung without compromise. Surely no one has damned the torpedoes more often, and lived to tell. He saw his career rise meteorically, plummet meteorically, and rise again.

True talent cannot be denied. "Other people," says Jerry, "they practice and they practice. These fingers of mine, they got brains in 'em. You don't TELL them what to do - THEY do it." There are but four stylists in music, he'll tell you: Jimmie Rodgers, Al Jolson, Hank Williams, and himself. It was a foregone conclusion that Jerry Lee Lewis would be a charter inductee to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Jerry Lee Lewis & Sam Phillips

Fifty years ago as of this writing, Jerry Lee Lewis and his father, Elmo, drove up from Ferriday, Louisiana to see Mister Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Jerry Lee was sure that Phillips would understand him. He'd been turned away in Nashville, yet Phillips would see his potential. They were destined to come together: Lewis the former divinity student tortured by an unfathomable religion, and Phillips the former mortician's assistant who had persuaded unlettered country folk to give up their dead. Jerry Lee's indomitable mother, Mamie, had stopped him from listening to records because she didn't want him to sound like anyone else. Every day, Jerry Lee would pound the old Starck upright, slowly discovering something that was truly his.

A little boogie woogie, a little gospel, a little Hank Williams, and a little beerjoint blues. The Lewises lived in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Jerry Lee was born there on September 29, 1935. Six months after his cousin, Jimmy Swaggart. He was twenty-one when he arrived in Memphis. Telling the people at Sun Records that he played piano like Chet Atkins. Sam Phillips encouraged him to write songs, but the only tangible result was the B-side of his first record, End Of The Road.

Phillips copyrighted it without realizing that it had been loosely adapted from Ballard McDonald and James Handley's 1922 song At The End Of The Road. The only other song from Jerry Lee's pen on this collection is the monumentally egotistical Lewis Boogie. For Jerry, about Jerry, and by Jerry.  

 

SUN Records

Very quickly, Sam Phillips saw that, unlike Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis would interpret rather than write. He would reveal himself to us through the words of others. Phillips also understood that he must let Lewis plunder the musical reliquary in his head before encouraging him to return to the one song out of ten or twenty that held promise.

That's how Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On came to be recorded. Jerry Lee had probably heard Roy Hall play it at an after-hours club in Nashville (Hall claimed to be the mysterious co-writer 'Sunny David' although that seems very unlikely).

In the opening four bars, Jerry Lee Lewis and Sam Phillips made the piano into a percussion instrument. In feeding the signal back upon itself at just the right increment of tape delay. Phillips fattened the sound to the point that the record throbs with its own hypnotic life by the time J. M. Van Eaton's drums come in.

 

Jerry Lee's first hit

Van Eaton is exactly where he needs to be: it's textbook stuff, and Van Eaton wrote the textbook. In the two or so years that Jerry Lee had been fooling with Shakin', he had refashioned it in his image. Stripping away the opening couplet and inserting a half-spoken segment before storming back to close with a triumphant glissando. Wondrous and imperishable. It became Jerry Lee's second record and first hit. The record was pegging out half-way up the charts when Jerry made his first networked television appearance on 'The Steve Allen Show'. It was a landmark date in the history of rock 'n' roll; Sunday July 28, 1957.

He hammered the piano, eyes fixed above with messianic intensity. He glared at the camera with wild-eyed fury. "Whose barn? MAH barn!" Shakin' resumed its upward movement, eventually peaking at #3. The entertainment business realized that Jerry Lee was an up-and-coming act and he was offered a cameo movie appearance. It's a testament to his genius that he took a slight song manufactured for an equally slight movie, 'Jamboree,'and transformed it into one of the era's classics.

That song, of course, was Great Balls Of Fire. Carl Perkins and the movie's other stars had already turned it down, but it became Jerry Lee's defining moment. His biggest pop hit. Some claim to hear a rhythm guitar, but it's essentially Jerry Lee Lewis and drummer J. M. Van Eaton. If there's a third instrument, it's Sam Phillips' reverberation, adding depth and presence.

Great Balls Of Fire

Two New York-based R&B songwriters, Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer, had written Great Balls Of Fire and were offered a chance at the follow-up. Blackwell came up with Breathless while Hammer presented Milkshake Mademoiselle. Blackwell got the nod, and Milkshake Mademoiselle was left for wideeyed European researchers to find some fifteen years later. Blackwell's submission was yet another 'exclamation' song, and Sam Phillips engineered a promotional tie-in between television.

Host Dick Clark and Beechnut chewing gum in which kids could send in 50 cents and five Beechnut wrappers to receive a 'free' autographed copy of Breathless. Everyone at Sun's tiny operation, including lesser artists, were put to work autographing and mailing Jerry Lee's records. The television appearances jump-started the single, and it eventually rose to #7. Jerry Lee's last Top 20 hit was the title song for another quickie exploitation movie, 'High School Confidential'. Starring Mamie Van Doren (whose website has to be visited to be believed).

It was supposed to be an exposé of the high school drug problem. (yes there was a high school drug problem in 1958) The song was written by Ron Hargrave, a struggling MGM recording artist and protégé of Lou Costello (Hargrave can be seen in Abbott & Costello's last movie, 'Dance With Me Henry'). Try as he might, Hargrave couldn't quite work the title into the song, and had to surrender half of his writer's share to Jerry Lee. In the movie, Jerry performed the song on the back of a flatbed truck. It was released just as he left for a tour of England in May 1958.

Excerpt from BCD16396 - Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis -

Jerry Rocks Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/lewis-jerry-lee-jerry-lee-lewis-jerry-rocks.html

Copyright © Bear Family Records



More information about Jerry Lee Lewis on Wikipedia.org
 
 
   
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Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis And His Pumping Piano (10inch LP)
Art-Nr.: BAF11008
 

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Jerry Lee Lewis And His Pumping Piano BEAR FAMILY Vinyl Club Exclusive limited collector's edition, order now from Bear Family's Shop and Mailorder - no terms and conditions for dealers! 10inch LP (limited edition - colored vinyl) 10 tracks....

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live In Italy
Art-Nr.: LPMF071
 

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(Magnum Force) 16 tracks, featuring Linda Gail Lewis. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded live at the Rolling Stone, Milan - 7th April, 1987 and at the Paleur, Rome - 8th April, 1987.

$17.82 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Very Best Of (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCP8243
 

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(Charly) 50 Sun recordings - rare set - hardcover slipcase packaging

Instead of:$32.35 * $21.55 *

LEWIS, Jerry Lee: Mean Old Man...plus (CD) Million Dollar Quartet Custom Edition
Art-Nr.: CD120004
 

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(2010/VERVE/UNIVERSAL/CREATIVE GOODS) 19 tracks (62:54) ecopac with 36x46 cm poster. Limited Edition (1.000) custom pressing features exclusive bonus track 'Money' duet with Levi Kreiss of Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet programme! Collector's item - was only...

$19.39 *

Hint!
Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis At Sun Records The Collected Works (18-CD & 2 Books)
Art-Nr.: BCD17254
 

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18-CD boxed set (28 x 28 x 7 cms ) with 2 hardcover clothbound books (300 total pages) in a clothbound slipcase, 623 tracks, total playing time: approx. 23 hours and 30 minutes.  -- This is it! ...... No, really, THIS IS IT!  -- The story began at Sun...

$356.35 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis (LP)
Art-Nr.: LP6E184CUT
 

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(1979/Elektra) 10 tracks, cut-out

$10.75 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock'n'Roll Resurrection (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD0812006
 

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(2007/LMS) 19 tracks (75:58 min.)

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rocket (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPINS5023
 

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(1990/Instant) 12 tracks, recorded 1988! Rare 'Instant' LP album!

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis Jokes & Sings (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPFLASH9001
 

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(Flash) 13 tracks - rare 1990s custom pressing from old warehouse stock

$26.95 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live From Austin TX (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDNW6122
 

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(2004/NEW WEST) 15 tracks, recorded October 17, 1983 - digipac

$10.75 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Mercury Years, Vol.3 (Cut-out CD)
Art-Nr.: CD836941
 

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(1989/Polygram) 25 tracks - Cut-out CD, originally sealed!

$26.95 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock & Roll - Travelin' Band (7inch, 45rpm)
Art-Nr.: 45F101
 

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(Ferriday Records) custom pressing - few copies

$10.80 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Great Balls of Fire - Live (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSL21242
 

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(1995/Retro Music) 10 tracks

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Jerry Lee Lewis: A Half Century Of Hits (3-CD Digibook)
Art-Nr.: CDTL19232X
 

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(2006/Time Life) 65 tracks (5 unissued) plus Sam Phillips & Jerry Lee chat! - The first-ever complete career retrospective of a charter inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Includes every one of Jerry Lee Lewis' biggest hits...all original versions. Five...

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Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer - Rock 'n' Roll (Picture-LP, 200g Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: LPCLO017
 

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(2016/Cleopatra) 11 tracks - five studio -  and six live recordings.

$32.35 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRN70656
 

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​(1989/SUN) 13 tracks - Jerry Lee Lewis first LP

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano - Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough
Art-Nr.: CDBGO1174
 

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(2015/BGO) 22 tracks, slipcase packaging. Two Country albums for the Mercury label from 1972 and 1973. Both albums reached the top 10 US country charts and brought the hits ' ' No More Hanging On ', ' Sometimes A Memory Is not...

$18.31 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee's Greatest! (1961)...plus 180g Vinyl Limited Edition
Art-Nr.: LP772005
 

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(2015/Wax Time) 14 tracks plus free MP3 album download

$21.33 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rare Tracks (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRN70899
 

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​(1989/Rhino) 18 tracks AAD, original Sun recordings remastered by Bill Inglot. Sealed, new stock copy - original US Longbox packaging. (Bear Family Records)

$43.15 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Knox Phillips Sessions - The Unreleased Recordings 180g Vinyl
Art-Nr.: LPSR30847
 

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(2014/Saguaro Records) 11 tracks - 180g vinyl includes a bonus song. The Killer slays 11 unreleased performances recorded at Sun Studios in the '70s. Rock's 1st wild man puts his stamp on classic Rock, Country & Gospel hits.

$32.35 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing (EU) - Digipac (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDGO70321
 

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​(2006/Shangri-La) 21 tracks - Digipac version!

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Knox Phillips Sessions - The Unreleased Recordings
Art-Nr.: CDCHM1413
 

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(2014/ACE) 12 tracks (43:15) with 12 page booklet of notes and photos by Colin Escott. Knox Phillips, elder son of Sun Records founder Sam, followed his father into the world of record production, engineering and studio ownership. By the mid-70s he was running his...

$13.77 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock & Roll Time (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDWLK783342
 

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(2014/Welk Group) 11 tracks (32:00) digisleeve w.36x24cm poster (folded) and introduction by Peter Guralnick. Outstanding new album with songs from Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Johnny Cash, Mack Vickery a.o., recorded at Memphis House Of...

Instead of:$16.15 * $10.75 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Mercury Years, Vol.1 (Cut-out CD)
Art-Nr.: CD836935
 

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(1989/Polygram) 24 tracks - Cut-out CD, originally sealed!

$26.95 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Country Class - Country Memories (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBGO1222
 

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(2016/BGO) 22 tracks Digitally remastered containing a pair of fine Jerry Lee Lewis albums from 1976 and 1977 on one disc. The recordings produced the US Country hits 'Come On In', 'Let's Put It Back Together Again' and 'Middle Age Crazy, Jerry Lee's longtime...

$20.47 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Complete London Session Vol.1 (LP)
Art-Nr.: BFX15240
 

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(1986/Bear Family Records) 13 tracks 1973 - Gatefold Cover. Mint stock copy (Bear Family Records)

$26.95 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock & Roll Legends Series (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD3051856
 

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(2008/UNIVERSAL) 15 tracks - digipac

$10.75 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Whole Lot Of Shakin' (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSNAP229
 

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(2005/CHARLY) 30 tracks Sun (71:36) - digipac

$10.75 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer Live 1964-70 (3-CD Digi) Limited Edition
Art-Nr.: CD1674902
 

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(2012/UNIVERSAL/HIP-O) 60 tracks feat.: 'Star Club', 'Greatest Live Show On Earth' and 'Live At The International, Las Vegas' plus 15 outtakes from the 1966 & 1970 shows! Gatefold digipac with 32 page booklet by Mitchell Cohen. Limited Edition (Hip-O Select...

$43.15 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: I-40 Country - Odd Man In (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBGO1216
 

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(2016/BGO) 22 tracks Digitally remastered containing a pair of fine Jerry Lee Lewis albums from 1974 and 1975 on one disc!

$20.47 *

NEW
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg
Art-Nr.: 0012052
 

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Gebundene - 512 - HarperLuxe - Englisch A LIFE IN ROCK AND ROLL The long-awaited story of "one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture" (Encyclopedia of Southern Culture) by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All Over but the...

$20.47 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Alternate Collection (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSUND35
 

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(1991/Charly) 63 tracks - 8 page booklet

$53.95 *

NEW
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg
Art-Nr.: 0012053
 

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Taschenbuch - 752 Seiten - HarperLuxe - Englisch "No one in rock and roll has ever made music and lived life with the ferocity of Jerry Lee Lewis, and no writer is better suited than Rick Bragg to tell Lewis's story." -RON RASH, AUTHOR OF SERENA   For nearly...

$35.59 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock & Roll Time
Art-Nr.: LPWLK783341
 

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(2014/Welk Group) 11 tracks incl. free album download and a 27x27 cm picture inlay.

$30.19 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Down The Road With Jerry Lee (LP, 10inch, Ltd.)
Art-Nr.: LPSUNSC1290
 

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(2017/Charly) 10 tracks - limited edition (1.000) - cyan vinyl. - When Jerry Lee Lewis walks on-stage, he provokes uproar just by standing still. And from the moment he hits the keyboard, hands raking and floating around the mic stand, hair flying, he leaves no...

$26.95 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Money b-w Here Comes That Rainbow Again 7inch, 45rpm, PS
Art-Nr.: 45FBR1124
 

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(2013/Fireball) 2 rare tracks - with fabulous two-sided picture inlay.

$16.20 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Great Balls Of Fire - Original Soundtrack (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD839516
 

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(1989/Polygram) 12 Tracks (35:25) including 8 original Jerry Lee Lewis 1998 re-recordings made especially for the movie soundtrack. Extra bonus: A duet recording with Jerry Lee and Lewis-actor Dennis Quaid!

$18.31 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Monsters (1970)
Art-Nr.: LP22013019
 

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(Bellaphon) 11 tracks (Sun) - rare german pressing with Star Club picture on back!

$21.33 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live From Austin TX (DVD)
Art-Nr.: DVDNW8042
 

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(2007/NEW WEST) 15 tracks , recorded October 17,1983, NTSC, Color, 5.1 Surround Sound, 55 mins. Regional Code 0.

$19.39 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Rockin' My Life Away
Art-Nr.: LP2696611
 

Currently not available

(1989/Tomato) 15 tracks - rare german pressing. Recorded at the Palamino Club, California 1979-81 and 1985 feat. James Burton (gtr.), Kenny Lovelace (gtr.) a.o.

$15.66 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Golden Cream Of The Country
Art-Nr.: LPBI15
 

Currently not available

(1988/Bellaphon) 16 tracks

$14.85 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Invitation To Your Party
Art-Nr.: CDCOL6013
 

Currently not available

(1999/Collectables) 24 tracks.

$17.23 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: That Good Old Times
Art-Nr.: LP23013009
 

Currently not available

(1988/Bellaphon) 16 tracks

$14.85 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Original Golden Hits Vol.3
Art-Nr.: LPBI1590
 

Currently not available

(1971/Bellaphon) 11 tracks

$14.85 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: I Am What I Am (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPINS5008
 

Currently not available

(1989/Instant) 14 tracks - Sun recordings! Rare 'Instant' LP album!

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing (EU) - Jewelcase (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDGO70322
 

Currently not available

(2006/Shangri-Las) 21 tracks

$8.59 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer Rocks On (LP)
Art-Nr.: LP826262X
 

Currently not available

(1972/POLYGRAM) 12 tracks, cut-out

$16.15 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Country Gold (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPOTD8018
 

Currently not available

(1982/Sagittarius) 10 tracks - Rare 1982 album! Originally sealed! Sun recordings!

$17.23 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: Solid Gold (2-LP)
Art-Nr.: LPPDL21132
 

Currently not available

(1986/Pair) 16 tracks - Smash/Mercury recordings! Originally sealed! Cut-out LP!

$21.55 *

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Original Jerry Lee Lewis
Art-Nr.: LPCR30111
 

Currently not available

​(1981/Charly Records) 16 tracks, recorded 1956-1961

$21.06 *

NEW
Jerry Lee Lewis: In The Beginning (LP, 180gram Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: BAF18025
 

Pre-order now! This title will be released on 16 June 2017

ALTERNATIVE VERSIONS - FIRST TIME ON VINYL  1-LP, 180 gram Vinyl-LP, 14 tracks, Total playing time approx. 33:10 minutes. NEW to LP – never released before 12'' vinyl albums! For the first time in more than a generation: two entirely new vinyl Jerry...

$21.55 *

   
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