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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I Can't Seem To Say Goodbye (LP, 180gram Vinyl) Jerry Lee Lewis: I Can't Seem To Say Goodbye (LP, 180gram Vinyl) Art-Nr.: BAF18027

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ALTERNATIVE VERSIONS - FIRST TIME ON VINYL 1-LP, 180 gram Vinyl-LP, 14 tracks, Total playing time approx. 32:25 minutes. NEW to LP – never released before 12'' vinyl albums! For the first time in more than a generation: two entirely new...
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The Golden Cream Of The Country (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Golden Cream Of The Country (LP) Art-Nr.: LPBI1584

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20 Super Hits (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: 20 Super Hits (LP) Art-Nr.: LP26413002

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(Bellaphon Records) 20 Tracks - 1950s Killer Sun Recordings!
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Would You Take Another Chance On Me? (LP, Cut-Out) Jerry Lee Lewis: Would You Take Another Chance On Me? (LP, Cut-Out) Art-Nr.: LP830899

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(Mercury) 11 tracks, originally sealed
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Jerry Lee Lewis (CD, Longbox Package) Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis (CD, Longbox Package) Art-Nr.: CDR270656-L

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(1989/Rhino) 13 tracks - Jerry Lee Lewis first LP for SUN Records. Original sealed US Longbox Packaging with SUN Records Logo - collector's item!
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Rare Tracks (LP, Cut-Out) Jerry Lee Lewis: Rare Tracks (LP, Cut-Out) Art-Nr.: LPR170899-C

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(Rhino/Sun) 14 tracks - original sealed copy! Very popular LP with rare Sun recordings and a 'Killer' LP cover! Cut-Out LP with 1.5cm cut at cover edge
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The Country Store Collection (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Country Store Collection (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCST39

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​(Castle Communication) 14 tracks Phonogram 1964 -1969
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Jerry Lee's Greatest (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee's Greatest (LP) Art-Nr.: LPORGM470257

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(2017/ORG) 12 tracks Jerry Lee's Greatest! is the second album from rock & roll's first great wild man, originally released in 1961 by the legendary Sun Record Company. The album includes Lewis's biggest hit, "Great Balls of Fire," which...
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Jerry Lee Lewis (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis (LP) Art-Nr.: LPORGM471001

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(2016/ORG Music) 12 tracks, black vinyl, SUN labels, Limited Edition. Jerry Lee Lewis' 1958 debut album , produced by Jack Clement and Sam Phillips.
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Best Of Jerry Lee Lewis (CD, US Longbox) Jerry Lee Lewis: Best Of Jerry Lee Lewis (CD, US Longbox) Art-Nr.: CDD277446

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(Curb Records) 10 tracks
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Rockin' Rhythm And Blues (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Rockin' Rhythm And Blues (LP) Art-Nr.: LPBI1593

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(Bellaphon) 11 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1969 'Sun' LP compilation album
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The Mercury Years Vol.3 1973-1977 (2-LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Mercury Years Vol.3 1973-1977 (2-LP) Art-Nr.: LP836941

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(Polygram) 25 tracks - originally sealed 'Polygram' copy from 1989
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Rare Tracks (CD) 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 with SUN Records Logo.
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Country Store Collection - The Very Best Of Jerry Lee Lewis (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Country Store Collection - The Very Best Of... Art-Nr.: LPCST039

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(Starblend) 14 tracks - 'Mercury' and 'Smash' recordings, made between 1964 and 1969, feat. two duets with Linda Gail Lewis
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I Am What I Am (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: I Am What I Am (CD) Art-Nr.: CDINS5008

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(1998/Instant) 14 tracks
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Jerry Lee Lewis (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis (LP) Art-Nr.: LPR170656-C

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(Rhino) 13 tracks, SUN labels, Cut-Out LP Jerry Lee Lewis' 1958 debut album , produced by Jack Clement and Sam Phillips.
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Mit Siebzehn am Abgrund - High School Confidential (DVD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Mit Siebzehn am Abgrund - High School... Art-Nr.: DVD512288

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Movie - USA 1958 Sprache: German, English, Dolby Digital 2.0, Widescreen Director: Jack Arnold Darsteller: Russ Tamblyn, Jan Sterling, John Drew Barrymore, Jerry Lee Lewis, Michael Landon Original title: High School Confidential! (1958)...
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The Killer Rocks On (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer Rocks On (LP) Art-Nr.: LP826262-C

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(Polygram) 12 tracks - originally sealed cut-out LP from 1972
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Jerry Lee's Greatest (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee's Greatest (LP) Art-Nr.: LPRUM2011023

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(2012/Rumble) 12 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1961 'Sun' album
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Rock Right Now With the Piano (2-CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock Right Now With the Piano (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDTIM220401

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(2001/GEMINI) 32 tracks
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Heartbreak (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Heartbreak (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCP8175

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(1996/Charly) 14 tracks, recorded live at the Palomino, Van Nuys
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Outtakes (LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: Outtakes (LP) Art-Nr.: LPSTAR002

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(Sun Star) 23 tracks - rare 1986 unofficial european custom pressing !
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The Mercury Years Vol.2 1969-1972 (2-LP, Cut-Out) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Mercury Years Vol.2 1969-1972 (2-LP, Cut-Out) Art-Nr.: LP836938-C

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(Mercury) 24 tracks - Compiled and annonated by Hank Davis
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The Mercury Years Vol.2 1969-1972 (2-LP) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Mercury Years Vol.2 1969-1972 (2-LP) Art-Nr.: LP836938

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(Mercury) 24 tracks - Compiled and annonated by Hank Davis
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Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Break-Up (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Break-Up (7inch,... Art-Nr.: 45COL3091

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Two Rockabilly 'Sun' Classics on one 45rpm record
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Lewis Boogie - Return Of Jerry Lee (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Lewis Boogie - Return Of Jerry Lee (7inch, 45rpm) Art-Nr.: 45COL3334

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Two Rockabilly 'Sun' Classics on one 45rpm record
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Crazy Arms - Good Golly Miss Molly (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Crazy Arms - Good Golly Miss Molly (7inch, 45rpm) Art-Nr.: 45COL3335

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Two Rockabilly 'Sun' Classics on one 45rpm record
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Great Balls Of Fire - High School Confidential (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Great Balls Of Fire - High School Confidential... Art-Nr.: 45COL3089

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Two Rockabilly 'Sun' Classics on one 45rpm record
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Killer - Mercury Years Vol.3 - 1973-77 (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer - Mercury Years Vol.3 - 1973-77 (CD) Art-Nr.: CD554765

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​(Spectrum) 25 tracks
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Sun Essentials (4-CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Sun Essentials (4-CD) Art-Nr.: CDSNAJ737

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(2006/Charly) 128 Tracks - Four CDs of Jerry Lee's Sun recordings 1956-1963, plus 36-page color booklet incl. biograophy and track-by-track notes in a slipcase!
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Four Jerry Lee Lewis Albums (2-CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Four Jerry Lee Lewis Albums (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDBGO1276

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(2017/BGO) 43 Tracks - Smash and Mercury masters 1969-1978!
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Rockin' My Life Away (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Rockin' My Life Away (CD) Art-Nr.: CD2696612X

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(Tomato) 15 tracks, recorded at The Palamino, Van Nuys, California. Cut-Out with small drillhole in booklet.
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Live From Austin,Tx (2-LP, 180g Vinyl) Jerry Lee Lewis: Live From Austin,Tx (2-LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPNW516315

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(2017/New West) 15 tracks, recorded October 17, 1983, 2-LP, 3-sides, gatefold cover, first time ever on vinyl. - Jerry Lee Lewis took black rhythm & blues, white gospel and other funky Mississippi sounds and turned them into rock and...
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His Own Story by Rick Bragg 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...
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His Own Story by Rick Bragg 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...
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In The Beginning (LP, 180gram Vinyl) Jerry Lee Lewis: In The Beginning (LP, 180gram Vinyl) Art-Nr.: BAF18025

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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...
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Mean Old Man (CD, Deluxe Edition, EU) Jerry Lee Lewis: Mean Old Man (CD, Deluxe Edition, EU) Art-Nr.: CD2747092

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(2010/Verve/Shangri-La) 18 tracks (59:49) digisleeve (piano cover- b&w) with 36x46 cm poster. EU pressing (different cover artwork to US release) - The father of Rock'n'Roll is back and Kicks Ass! In a time when one-hit wonders come and...
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Mean Old Man...plus (CD) Million Dollar Quartet Custom Edition LEWIS, Jerry Lee: Mean Old Man...plus (CD) Million Dollar Quartet... 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!...
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A Half Century Of Hits (3-CD Digibook) 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...
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Greatest Hits - Live (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Greatest Hits - Live (CD) Art-Nr.: CD16012

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​(Elap) 16 tracks - Live recordings 
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Jerry Lee Lewis And His Pumping Piano (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis And His Pumping Piano (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...
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Down The Road With Jerry Lee (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) 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,...
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The Platinum Collection (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Platinum Collection (CD) Art-Nr.: CD740522

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(2006/Warner) 20 tracks
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Rockin' My Life Away (CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Rockin' My Life Away (CD) Art-Nr.: CDR270392

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(1989/Tomato) 15 tracks, Cut-Out
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The Killer - Rock 'n' Roll (Picture-LP, 200g Vinyl) Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer - Rock 'n' Roll (Picture-LP, 200g... Art-Nr.: LPCLO017

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(2016/Cleopatra) 11 tracks - five studio - and six live recordings.
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Fireball - Collection (2-CD) Jerry Lee Lewis: Fireball - Collection (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDSPEC2059

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(2011/SPECTRUM) 41 tracks 1963-75 w.12 page booklet.
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Original Sun Singles '56 - '60 (2-LP, 180g Vinyl) Jerry Lee Lewis: Original Sun Singles '56 - '60 (2-LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: SLP5190

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(2009/SUNDAZED) 28 tracks - Gatefold Cover/Klappcover
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Invitation To You Party - I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Invitation To You Party - I Could Never Be... Art-Nr.: 45SI1101

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Original 1969 'Sun' 45rpm record
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Save The Last Dance For Me - Long As I Live (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Save The Last Dance For Me - Long As I Live... Art-Nr.: 45SUN51

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Originally recorded 1961 - Sun Golden Treasure Series
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Money - Bonnie Bee (7inch, 45rpm) Jerry Lee Lewis: Money - Bonnie Bee (7inch, 45rpm) Art-Nr.: 45SUN52

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Originally recorded 1961 - Sun Golden Treasure Series
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