Jerry Lee Lewis Has Died: R.I.P. The Killer

Jerry Lee Lewis. one of the last great rockers from the 50s (Dion DiMucci is still kickin’), has died, age 87.

I guess it had to happen, but its shocking all the same. Jerry Lee Lewis made some of the greatest rock and roll records of all time for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records including Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Great Balls Of Fire and Breathless.

Jerry Lee LewisIf that was all he did, that would earn him a place in rock and roll heaven. But after his fall from grace in 1958 (Jerry married his 13-year-old cousin) Lewis re-invented himself as a top of the line country singer.

I just love listening to him cry in his beer, singing songs like She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye, Sometimes A Memory Ain’t Enough, 39 And Holding and Middle Aged Crazy.

I was lucky to see Jerry Lee perform live a few times, most notably in 1972 at the London Rock & Roll Show at Wembley Stadium on a bill that also featured Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Bill Haley and Chuck Berry along with many others (The MC5 were another highlight, while Gary Glitter got booed off the stage). Needless to say, Lewis’ time on the stage was a highlight.

Sadly they are all gone now. But the records are with us and they are ‘All Killer, no filler!’

With Jerry Lee, one needs to separate the artist from the art. I have no doubt that his personal life was filled with unsavoury moments…they didn’t call him The Killer for nothing…and I certainly do not condone his bad behavior…but the records stand for themselves.

Marty Duda

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