Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jerry Lee Lewis turns 80

Happy 80th Birthday to Jerry Lee Lewis, the walking, talking Americana songbook and performing legend. Lewis has stared down death on many occasions in his long life, over the course of which he's navigated the emotional and spiritual extremes into which he was born: a rock and roll musician and a devout believer; a sinner, a repentant, a sinner again. These conflicts are borne out in his private life and in his songs and performances, a musical landscape he's crossed with bravado, pride, ego, showmanship, and deeply-rooted ambivalence. Last year the Library of Congress asked me to write about "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," which was added to the National Recording Registry in 2005. I was honored to contribute in a modest way to the recognition of the permanence of this great American artist.

Here's to The Killer and a life in song:

"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," The Steve Allen Show, 1957

"That Lucky Old Sun," recorded 1956/57

"Mean Woman Blues," Live! At The Star-Club, 1964

"There Stands The Glass," She Still Comes Around (To Love What's Left Of Me), 1969

"He Looked Beyond My Fault," In Loving Memories: The Jerry Lee Lewis Gospel Album, 1971

"Sunday Morning Coming Down," Mean Old Man, 2010

"Miss The Mississippi," Mean Old Man, 2010


Over at the Rock N Roll Freaks blog, Ted Cogswell has been running Killer material all week. Head here for excerpts from Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found as well as videos and other commentary.


Graham Knight said...

Thanks Joe - your book Jerry Lee Lewis is a classic - and of course Jerry himself is the greatest rock'n'roll entertainer of all time.

Graham Knight

Joe Bonomo said...

Thanks, Graham! And thanks for your support and help down the years.