Jerry Lee Lewis Biography: The Life of a Legendary American Musician
Jerry Lee Lewis is considered one of the most influential and controversial figures in the history of American music. In his incredibly successful career, he has been both praised and condemned for his irreverent and unapologetic rock ’n’ roll attitude. His personal life has always attracted as much attention as his musical career, due to his scandalous marriage with his underage cousin, his wild drinking habits, and his drug-fueled performances on stage. In this article, we explore the life of Jerry Lee Lewis from his humble beginnings in Ferriday to his red-hot comeback in the 2000s. It details everything you need to know about one of rock’s greatest bad boys—from private affairs to public scandals, from tragic events to triumphant returns, and from rise to fall.
Who is Jerry Lee Lewis?
Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the most influential and controversial figures in the history of American music. He is known as “The Killer” for his aggressive style of piano playing and his impassioned vocals. He is also famous for his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin, Myra. Born on September 29, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana, Lewis grew up in a small rural community where he was exposed to a wide variety of music, including blues, rhythm and blues, jazz, and country. At an early age, he began playing piano, and by the time he was in his early teens, Lewis was already performing with local bands at community dances and on radio shows. In the early 1950s, Lewis moved to Houston, Texas, where he continued to perform on radio shows and at clubs. His musical breakthrough came in 1956, when he released his first single, “Crazy Arms.” The song became a hit, and it jump-started his successful career as a rock ’n’ roll musician.
Musician: The birth of a rock ’n’ roll legend
During the 1950s, rock ’n’ roll was a relatively new form of music, and many people regarded it as a passing fad. But despite the skepticism, rock ’n’ roll quickly became a global phenomenon, and many future legends of music were born during this decade. One of those future legends was Jerry Lee Lewis, who was born in 1935 in a small town in Louisiana. Growing up on a farm with his parents, Lewis listened to a wide range of music, from country to jazz. At an early age, Lewis began playing the piano and was heavily influenced by the boogie-woogie rhythms of early jazz pianists like Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis, who were both relatives of Lewis. In the 1950s, a new form of music called rock ’n’ roll began to emerge, and Lewis quickly became one of its leading figures. He is known as “The Killer” for his aggressive style of piano playing, and his impassioned vocals. During his heyday, Lewis recorded some of the most provocative and popular rock ’n’ roll songs, including “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “High School Confidential.”
Scandal and Decline
Throughout his career, Lewis has been surrounded by controversy and scandal. In his early days, he was known for his wild and unpredictable performances. At one point, he even set his piano on fire. As his fame grew, Lewis became notorious for his explosive temper, which often resulted in violent outbursts. While his wild and unruly image helped bolster his rebellious persona, it also resulted in some serious professional setbacks. In 1956, he was convicted of transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes. The charges were later dropped when his underage partner, Myra Gale Brown, married Lewis. In 1958, he was again arrested for transporting a minor across state lines. This time, he was fined $10,000 and sentenced to a year in jail. While he was released after ten months, the scandal greatly affected his career, and his popularity and record sales began to decline.
Comeback: Return to the limelight
Despite his turbulent personal life and faltering career, Lewis continued to tour and perform. In the 1980s, he was given a chance to revive his music career, when he was invited to perform at the renowned New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The performance was a major success, and it proved to be the turning point in his career. After the performance, Lewis began touring again and released several new albums, including “You Save Me from Myself” (2003), “Last Man Standing” (2004), and “Raise Hell” (2006). In 2008, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he released his last album, “Jerry Lee Lewis and Friends: Live at the Hollywood Bowl.”
While his early years were marked with controversy and scandal, Jerry Lee Lewis managed to turn things around and make a successful comeback. His career is proof that rock ’n’ roll is a powerful form of music that can withstand the test of time. During his heyday, Jerry Lee Lewis was one of rock ’n’ roll’s most provocative and controversial figures. He was known for his aggressive style of piano playing, his impassioned vocals, and his wild and unpredictable performances. While his early years were marked with scandal and controversy, Lewis managed to turn things around and make a successful comeback.