Jerry Lee Lewis was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist who is best known for his pioneering work in the rock and roll genre. Born in Louisiana in 1935, Lewis began playing piano at a young age and was heavily influenced by the country, gospel, and blues music of the region. He first gained national attention in the 1950s with a series of hit songs, including “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire.”
Despite his success, Lewis was also known for his controversial personal life, which included multiple marriages (including one to his 13-year-old cousin), drug addiction, and public outbursts. These factors led to a decline in his popularity in the 1960s, though he continued to perform and record music throughout his career.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Lewis experienced a resurgence in popularity, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He has continued to perform and record music into the present day, and remains a beloved figure in the world of rock and roll.
Throughout his career, Lewis has been known for his energetic piano playing style, his distinctive voice, and his wild stage presence. He is often credited with helping to define the sound and spirit of rock and roll in its early days, and has inspired countless musicians and fans over the course of his long and storied career.
It’s surely a good idea to look at these 29 interesting facts about Jerry Lee Lewis to know more about him.
- Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana.
- He grew up in a musical family and started playing the piano at age 9.
- Lewis was heavily influenced by gospel, blues, and country music.
- He started his music career playing in honky-tonks and bars.
- In 1956, he recorded his first hit, “Crazy Arms.”
- His signature hit, “Great Balls of Fire,” was released in 1957.
- Lewis’s nickname is “The Killer” due to his wild stage presence.
- He was known for his energetic piano playing style and his tendency to stand on top of the piano while performing.
- Lewis was married seven times, including to his 13-year-old cousin, which caused a major scandal in the 1950s.
- In 1958, during a performance in London, he set his piano on fire with a Coca-Cola bottle filled with gasoline and played while the piano burned. The incident was a hit with the audience and became a defining moment in his career. However, it also caused controversy and criticism, with some accusing him of promoting arson and endangering the audience.
- In 1958, Lewis’s career was derailed when it was revealed that he had married his 13-year-old cousin.
- His career rebounded in the 1960s when he started recording country music.
- Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
- He has been described as one of the greatest live performers in the history of rock and roll.
- Lewis has had numerous hits over the course of his career, including “Breathless,” “High School Confidential,” and “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me).”
- In addition to his music career, Lewis has appeared in a number of films and TV shows, including “Great Balls of Fire!” and “The Simpsons.”
- Lewis was a devout Christian and has recorded a number of gospel albums.
- He has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards over the course of his career.
- Lewis’s music has been covered by a wide variety of artists, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen.
- In the 1960s, Lewis played a concert in London with The Beatles as his opening act.
- Lewis was a close friend of Elvis Presley, and the two performed together on numerous occasions.
- He has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
- Lewis has sold over 40 million records worldwide.
- He has continued to perform and record music into his 80s.
- Lewis has been known to be a fan of hunting and racing.
- He was known for his distinctive Southern drawl.
- Lewis is considered to be one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.
- He has been the subject of numerous biographies and documentaries.
- Lewis’s music has been used in a number of films and TV shows, including “Pulp Fiction” and “Stranger Things.”
Jerry Lee Lewis is a legendary musician who has had a lasting impact on the world of rock and roll. Despite his turbulent personal life and controversial public persona, his music and his live performances have stood the test of time. His unique style of playing the piano and his powerful voice continue to inspire musicians around the world. He has been inducted into multiple halls of fame, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his music has influenced countless artists in many genres. With a career spanning over six decades, Jerry Lee Lewis remains a beloved and influential figure in the history of music.