If you had to pick one performer that truly epitomised the highs and low of being a rock n’ roll star, it has to be ‘The Killer’, Jerry Lee Lewis.
Before Jerry Lee no-one ever stood up when they played the piano. There is so much stuff written about his off-stage life that the one thing he should be remembered for is very often overlooked. i.e. The Music.
Now aged 76 (and recently married for the 7th time), he’s the last surviving member of the original Sun Records Million Dollar quartet (the other members being Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley).
Whole Lotta Love is a 4 CD (106 song) Boxset and also includes a brilliant, 70 page booklet documenting all the main events both musically and personally in Jerry Lee Lewis’s career and life, and there are some great stories and photographs.
From his 1957 Sun Records debut Crazy Arms, to Great Balls of Fire, to his foray in country music, his Elektra records period, to 1989’s Sixteen Candles (with Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins).
It’s impossible to underestimate his influence on bands like The Beatles, and he’s worked with everyone from Merle Haggard to Buddy Guy to Keith Richards,to more contemporary artists such as Jack White and Slash.
He still tours when health permits and there is even talk of a new album in the pipeline. If you are curious as to the origins of rock n’ roll as we now it now, Whole Lotta is a fantastic way to do your homework.