Jerry Lee - rock's first wild man
THEY made a lovely couple.
The bridegroom was an international rock 'n' roll superstar.
The bride, a young, blushing southern belle.
The trouble was she was just 13 years old and he was already married.
But then to Jerry lee Lewis that was just a part of a turbulent life which set him up as rock's first wild man.
This whisky swilling , fast talking charmer had swept to fame with a record almost as wild as the man himself. But as it raced up the charts it produced the howls of disapproval which were to follow him throughout his career.
The record was called Whole Lotta Shakin'. It was destined to become a rock 'n' roll classic.
One critic would say of it: "It was strong stuff. In 1957 it was just about as revolutionary as you could get without openly advocating he violent overthrow of the government."
Rockin' in the aisles
Born in Ferriday, Louisiana, September 1935 Lewis learned to rock in church, attending regular meetings of the Assembly of God with his parents.
A natural piano player, by the age of 14 he was beginning to earn a reputation as an entertainer, his father driving him and his piano around the countryside in the back of a truck stopping for impromptu road concerts.
Rock 'n' roll had not yet arrived and at 15 Jerry Lee decided to become a man of God, joining the Southwestern Bible Institute with the aim of becoming a minister. It was a short lived ambition.
Lewis ran into a major scandal in 1958 when he married his cousin,Myra. He arrived at London Airport and ran straight into a row which cost him millions and effectively ended his days as a major force in rock 'n'roll.
When Myra's age and Lewis's marital status were revealed newspapers went mad. Hostility built up and he quit the country, returning to the US to lick his wounds.
For three years Lewis was out in the cold, returning to the international stage in 1960n with a classic version of the Ray Charles hit What'd I Say.
Other Lewis hits include:
Great Balls of Fire
High School Confidential
Written by The Editor - 19/05/2001 18:04:32
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