Jerry Lee Lewis

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 1986

Inducted by: Hank Williams Jr.

Nominated in: 1986

First Eligible: 1986 Ceremony

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1986 (ranked #46) .

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Great Balls of Fire (1957)
Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On (1957)
What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me) (1968)

Jerry Lee Lewis @ Wikipedia

Jerry Lee Lewis Videos


6 comments so far (post your own)

Happy 75th Birthday, Jerry Lee Lewis. I bet there'll be a "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" at your party

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Wednesday, 09.29.10 @ 10:01am

In the early days of rock and roll, was where ever a more crazy guy then Jerry Lee Lewis? I sure don't know. He has been seen as a piano pounding wild man with a powerful lust for living that many sources have used. Few singers have the amount of talent that Jerry has had and that are still alive today. When his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" came out, every parent was appalled. Lewis was also one of rock and roll's first wild men who never played just one musical style which allowed his msuic to have a greater varitey to it. Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the original musical maniacs and he'll always be a hero to every rock and roll fan!

Posted by Andrew on Wednesday, 10.10.12 @ 20:27pm

Andrew, I hope you saw my comments on the Little Richard page which were directed to you. Your enthusiasm and respect for the roots of rock 'n' roll are infectious.

My uncle was a teenager when Jerry Lee Lewis hit the scene and has seen him perform in concert several times. It goes without saying that my Uncle played an instrumental role in shaping my musical tastes and exposing me to the single greatest era in music history. Thanks to the education in music I received from him, I count the likes of Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Coasters, Jackie Wilson, Elvis Presley, and Bo Diddley among my all time favorites. I can't get enough of 1950s rock 'n' roll!

It's refreshing to see someone like yourself who has an appreciation and respect for rock 'n' roll history. Keep up the great work with your informative, fun posts!

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 10.10.12 @ 23:16pm

I'll tell you one thing about The Killer, he can play the crap out of a piano. As Hendrix was to the guitar, Jerry Lee is to the piano (IMO).

Posted by Paul in KY on Thursday, 10.11.12 @ 08:00am

Jerry Lee Lewis is the original mad man of rock n' roll, embodying the music's most reckless impulses. Is there any other early rocker with a crazier reputation then Jerry? I sure don't know. Depicted as a piano-playing wild man with an undying hunger for living has become the fodder for countless biographies and documentaries.

Few other rock artists came to the table with more ego and talent than Jerry and even fewer could channel energy into their music like Lewis could. When he exploded onto the national music scene in 1957 with the classics "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," he was every parent's nightmare realized: a long haired Southerner who pounded on the piano sang with much fury and abandon.

Ignoring all manner of musical borders allowed Jerry's music to have an wide variety to it, but also to survive the constant fashions and fabs. Whether preforming a country ballad, a blues tune, or a blazing rock song, Lewis' commitment to his music brings performances that are grounded in his personality.

Like the recordings of Hank Williams, Lee's early works are some of the most amazing songs in American music. Jerry Lee Lewis' influence hasn't gone unnoticed by people like Elton John and Neil Young who continue to incorporate Jerry's style into their own music even today.

Posted by Andrew on Friday, 05.31.13 @ 12:09pm

Jerry Lee Lewis is the original madman of rock n' roll, embodying the music's most high spirited and dangerous impulses. Is there any other 50s rock star with a crazier reputation then Jerry? I sure don't know any.

On such piano hammering songs from the late 50s such as "Great Balls of Fire," he combined a vicious, boogie style with unconstrained vocals. Depicted as a piano thumping, selfish wild man with an unquenchable hunger for life that has become material for countless biographies, film documentaries and even a full-length Hollywood movie.

Few other rock artists came to the table with more ego and talent than Jerry and have lived to tell about it and even fewer could channel energy into their music and prosper doing it as well as Lewis. When he exploded onto the music scene in 1957 with his classic song "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," he was every parents' worst nightmare realized: a long, blonde-haired Southerner who played the piano and sang with uncontrollable fury and abandon, while reveling in his own sexuality.

With his debut single of "Crazy Arms," Jerry was soon off and running at Sun Records. 1957 was his breakout year and 1958 brought more hits like "Breathless" and "High School Confidential." However, his rock n' roll career took a downhill turn when it was discovered he'd married his 13 year-old cousin in late 1957 and while Jerry did have a hit in 1961 with "What'd I Say," the hits stopped coming for a while.

Ignoring all manner of musical boundaries was something that not only allowed Lewis' music to have a wide variety to it, but also has allowed it to survive the fabs and fashions as well. Whether singing a melancholy country song, a blues tune, or a blazing rock song, Jerry's commitment to the moment brings forth performances that are completely grounded in his personally. Like the music of Hank Williams, Louis Armstrong, and a few others, Jerry's early songs are some of the most amazing collections of American music in existence.

Through a life scarred by controversy and personal problems, Jerry has remained a defiant and untiring person who has refused to contained by labels or formal politeness. In 1973, he declared that "I am a rock and rollin', country & western, rhythm & blues singing superstar!"

While his influence on artists like Elton John and Neil Young will continue to loom large until there is nobody left to play rock n' roll piano anymore, the plain truth is that there's only one Jerry Lee Lewis and American music will never see anyone like him.

Along with Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis is the other piano hammering mad man of 50s rock n' roll. His energy is infectious and certainly few artists then or now have the kind of energy that he has.

For as long as Iíve been posting comments on this site, what do you guys think I personally bring to the table when it comes to talking about music?

Posted by Andrew on Monday, 03.3.14 @ 23:42pm

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