Jerry Lee Lewis (September 29, 1935 – October 28, 2022) was an American pianist, singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “the Killer”, he was described as “Rock and roll’s first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.” A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. “Crazy Arms” sold 300,000 copies in the South, and his 1957 hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” shot Lewis to fame worldwide. He followed this with the major hits “Great Balls of Fire”, “Breathless”, and “High School Confidential”. His rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old cousin once removed.
His popularity quickly eroded following the scandal and with few exceptions such as a cover of Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say”, he did not have much chart success in the early 1960s. His live performances at this time were increasingly wild and energetic. His 1964 live album Live at the Star Club, Hamburg is regarded by many music journalists and fans in general as one of the wildest and greatest live rock albums ever. In 1968, Lewis made a transition into country music and had hits with songs such as “Another Place, Another Time”. This reignited his career, and throughout the late 1960s and 1970s he regularly topped the country-western charts; throughout his seven-decade career, Lewis had 30 songs reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Country and Western Chart. His No. 1 country hits included “To Make Love Sweeter for You”, “There Must Be More to Love Than This”, “Would You Take Another Chance on Me”, and “Me and Bobby McGee”.
Lewis’s successes continued throughout the decades and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace” and Mack Vickery’s “Rockin’ My Life Away”. In the 21st century, Lewis continued to tour around the world and released new albums. His 2006 album Last Man Standing was his best selling release, with over a million copies worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man in 2010, another of his best-selling albums.
Lewis had a dozen gold records in rock and country. He won four Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his pioneering contribution to the genre was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022.
In 1989, his life was chronicled in the movie Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid. In 2003, Rolling Stone listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology at number 242 on their list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2004, they ranked him No. 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Lewis was the last surviving member of Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet and the album Class of ’55, which also included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley.
Music critic Robert Christgau said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.” (wikipedia)
Last Man Standing is the 39th studio album released by American recording artist, pianist, and rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in September 2006. The album consists of duets between Lewis and some of the biggest names in both rock and country music, past and present. The title derives from the generation of 1950s Sun Studios recording artists such as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley, all of whom have died, leaving Lewis the “last man standing”. Following the success of the album, a DVD Last Man Standing Live was released featuring similar duets with famous artists.
Last Man Standing received very positive reviews from critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called the recording, “a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it’s hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring” and the editorial team of the site gave it four out of five stars. The same score was awarded by Gavin Edwards in Rolling Stone, praising the performance by writing, “his throat is in better shape than you might expect, most of his command now comes from the slamming, swinging passion of his barrelhouse piano”. For PopMatters, Vladimir Wormwood gave the album seven out of 10, summing up his review by focusing on the Merle Haggard duet “Just Bummin’ Around”: “It is a portrait of the aging musician with the showmanship removed. Long live Jerry Lee Lewis”.(wikipedia)
L-r: Keith Allison, Nils Lofgren, Jimmy Rip, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hutch Hutchinson, Ivan Neville and Kenny Lovelace. From Last Man Standing sessions, The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA, March 2005:
It often seems like there are only two ways for rock, country, and blues veterans to launch comebacks when they’re senior citizens: confront mortality head on or surround yourself with superstar guests to help carry you through a half-hearted stroll through your back catalog, scattering a few new tunes along the way. At first glance, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Last Man Standing seems to fall into both categories: the title suggests that Jerry Lee is in the mood to take a long look back, and certainly the very concept of the album — pairing Lewis with 21 other stars for a succession of duets, often on material that his guests either wrote or made famous — seems like a typical superstar duet record. But the Killer has never been predictable, and nowhere is that truer than it is here, where Jerry Lee treats Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, and 16 other stars as he treated the Nashville Teens at the Star Club in 1964 — as game amateurs who have to sprint to keep up with the master.
This is the only guest-studded superstar album where all the guests bend to the will of the main act, who dominates the proceedings in every conceivable way. Jerry Lee doesn’t just run the guests ragged; he turns their songs inside out, too — and nowhere is that clearer than on the opening “Rock and Roll,” the Led Zeppelin classic that is now stripped of its signature riff and sounds as if it were a lost gem dug out of the Sun vaults. Far from struggling with this, Jimmy Page embraces it, following the Killer as he runs off on his own course — he turns into support, and the rest of other 20 guests follow suit (with the possible exception of Kid Rock, who sounds like the party guest who won’t go home on an otherwise strong version of “Honky Tonk Woman”).
The label might sell Last Man Standing on the backs of the duet partners — after all, it’s awful hard to drum up interest in a record by a 71-year-old man no matter how great he is, so you need a hook like superstars — but the album by no stretch of the imagination belongs to them. This is completely Jerry Lee’s show from the second that he calls out, “It’s been a long time since I rock & rolled,” at the beginning of the record — and those are true words, since he hasn’t rocked on record in a long, long time. Ten years ago he cut the Andy Paley-produced Young Blood, but that was a typically tasteful self-conscious comeback record; it was driven as much by the producer’s conception of the artist as it was the artist himself. The opposite is true here, where the production is simple and transparent, never interfering with the performances; it has the welcome effect of making it sound like there is simply no way to tame Jerry Lee, even though he’s now in his seventies. And that doesn’t mean that this is merely a hard-rocking record, although “Rock and Roll,” “Pink Cadillac,” and “Travelin’ Band” do indeed rock harder than anything he’s done since the ’70s — so hard that they stand proudly next to his classic Sun records, even if they don’t have the unbridled fire of those peerless sides.
Merle Haggard, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis & Kid Rock:
No, this album touches on everything that Jerry Lee has done musically through his career, as the furious rock & roll is balanced by pure hardcore country, piledriving boogie-woogie, rambling blues, old-timey folk songs, and, especially, reinterpretations of familiar songs that are so thoroughly reimagined they seem like they were written specifically for Jerry Lee. And he does this the same way he’s always done it: by singing and playing the hell out of the songs. His phrasing remains original and unpredictable, twisting phrases in unexpected ways — and, yes, throwing his name into the mix frequently, too — and his piano is equally vigorous and vital. This is a record that stays true to his music, and in doing so, it’s not so much a comeback as it is a summation: a final testament from a true American original, one that explains exactly why he’s important. But that makes Last Man Standing sound too serious, as if it were one of those self-consciously morbid Johnny Cash records — no, this is a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it’s hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
B.B. Cunningham (bass on 01., 06.. 11., 19.)
Robert Hall (drums on 01., 06., 19.)
Hutch Hutchinson (bass on 02.- 05., 07., – 10., 14. -17., 20. + 21.)
Jim Keltner (drums on 02. – 05.. 07. – 10.,13. – 17., 20. + 21. percussion on 06., 07.)
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals, keyboards)
Ken Lovelace (guitar on 02., 03.. 04., 06., 08. – 11., 13. – 16.,19., 20. + 21., fiddle on 20.)
Jimmy Rip (guitar on 01. – 11, 13. – 21.)
Keith Allison (guitar on 09.)
Delaney Bramlett (vocals on 18.)
Eric Clapton (lead guitar on 16.)
John Fogerty (vocals on 07.)
Buddy Guy (vocals on 19.)
Merle Haggard (vocals on 10.)
Don Henley (vocals on 20.)
Mick Jagger (vocals on 04.)
George Jones (vocals, bass on 13.)
B.B. King (lead guitar on 02.)
Jimmy Page (lead guitar on 01.)
Toby Keith (vocals on 15.)
Kris Kristofferson (vocals on 21.)
Greg Lieze (pedal steel-guitar on 08., 15. + 21.)
Nils Lofgren (pedal steel-guitar on 09.)
Paddy Maloney (pipe, whistle on 20.)
Willie Nelson (vocals on 14.)
Ivan Neville (organ on 05., 09.)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica on 12.)
Keith Richards (vocals, lead guitar on 08.)
Little Richard (vocals on 17.)
Robbie Robertson (lead guitar on 06.)
Kid Rock (vocals on 11.)
Bruce Springsteen 8vocals on 03.)
Ringo Starr (vocals on 09.)
Bill Strom (organ on 06. + 19.)
James Stroud (drums on 11.)
Ronnie Wood (pedal steel-guitar on 04.)
Dave Woodruff (saxophone on 03., 07.)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals on 05.)
background vocals (on 06.):
Brandy Jones Bernard Fowler – Bambi Jones – Stacy Michelle
background vocals (on 11.)
Jewel Jones – Phyllis Duncan – Stacy Michelle
01. w/Jimmy Page: Rock And Roll (Page/Baldwin/Bonham/Plant) 2.15
02. w/B.B. King: Before The Night Is Over (Peters) 3.39
03. w/Bruce Springsteen: Pink Cadillac (Springsteen) 3.52
04. w/Mick Jagger & Ron Wood: Evening Gown (Jagger) 3.57
05. w/Neil Young: You Don’t Have To Go (Reed) 3.59
06. w/Robbie Robertson: Twilight (Robertson) 2.48
07. w/John Fogerty: Travelin’ Band (Fogerty) 2.01
08. w/Keith Richards: That Kind Of Fool (Vickery) 4.15
09. w/Ringo Starr: Little Sixteen (Berry) 3.05
10. w/Merle Haggard: Just A Bummin’ Around (Graves) 2.43
11. w/Kid Rock: Honky Tonk Woman (Jagger/Richards) 2.22
12. w/Rod Stewart: What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Sutton) 2.39
13. w/George Jones: Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Age (Wills/Walker) 2.00
14. w/Willie Nelson: Couple More Years (Locorriere/Silverstein) 5.12
15. w/Toby Keith: Ol’ Glory (Lewis/Roberts/Darnell) 2.04
16. w/Eric Clapton: Trouble In Mind (Jones)
17. w/Little Richard: I Saw Her Standing There (Lennon/McCartney) 2.21
18. w/Delaney Bramlett: Lost Highway (Payne) 3.00
19. w/Buddy Guy: Hadacol Boogie (Nettles) 3.19
20. w/Don Henley: What Makes The Irish Heart Beat (Morrison) 4.10
21. w/Kris Kristofferson: The Pilgrim (Kristofferson) 3.00
More from Jerry Lee Lewis:
The official website:
His third marriage was to 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, his first cousin once removed, on December 12, 1957. His divorce from Jane Mitchum was not finalized before the ceremony took place, so he remarried Brown on June 4, 1958. In 1970, Brown filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery and abuse, charging that she had been “subject to every type of physical and mental abuse imaginable.” (wikipedia)
A man fucking a 13-year-old girl … is an asshole … There is no excuse for that !