Jerry Lee Lewis, or The Killer, is one of the first rock ‘n’ roll pioneering men and a highly influential pianist with an electrifying stage presence. His most popular tunes include “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Breathless,” and “High School Confidential.”
Lewis has had success both in country and rock music. In fact, he has racked up four Grammy awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. He is known as a part of the Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet. It includes Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley.
Jerry Lee Lewis TV Tribute
Now, Jerry Lee Lewis is being featured on an episode of “Skyville Live: Jerry Lee Lewis” on TV on CMT. It was originally from 2017. Those with cable can watch it live tonight. Otherwise, there are also clips of the series on YouTube as well.
George Strait, Toby Keith, Chris Stapleton, Kris Kristofferson, the McCrary Sisters, and Lee Ann Womack all came together at the time to celebrate Lewis. Waylon Payne was also present. He played Lewis in the 2005 “Walk The Line” film about Johnny Cash.
The show will be airing on television tonight (April 13) at 10 p.m. George Strait performed “Great Balls of Fire” and “Middle Age Crazy.” Keith had performed “Thirty Nine and Holding” and “Chantilly Lace.” Womack performed “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous” and “She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye.” Payne got “Who Will the Next Fool Be.” Stapleton and the McCrary Sister teamed up for “Where He Leads Me.”
Lewis then joins the group for “Whole Lotta Shakin'” as he plays the piano.
Jerry Lee Lewis hasn’t been doing as much after a stroke in 2019. He did announce he wanted to release a gospel cover album in March of 2020. In October of that year, there was also an 85th birthday celebration on YouTube for him. The special, “Whole Lotta Celebratin’ Goin’ On,” featured performances by Willie Nelson, Elton John, Mike Love, Priscilla Presley, Joe Walsh, and others. John Stamos was the host.
Scandal Surrounding the Rocker
During his career, Jerry Lee Lewis had quite a bit of scandal that circulated his name.
Perhaps the most prominent was when he married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra. At the time he was touring in Britain hoping to surpass Elvis Presley in popularity. Presley never traveled outside of the U.S. to perform.
However, the press had learned he was married to a 13-year-old, although he lied and said she was 15, and his career took a huge hit. According to The Guardian, he went from earning $10,000 a night to $250. Following the scandal, Lewis did not create a lot of music in the ’60s. When he came back, he started transitioning to a more country music sound.
On November 22, 1976, he was also arrested outside of Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate. Allegedly, he was going to try to shoot him. Lewis had also accidentally killed his bass player, Butch Owens, when a gun went off by accident in his hand.
He denied ever wanting to hurt Presley and said that they were friends. He was drunk at the time when he crashed into the Graceland gate. Presley asked for guards to call the cops. Sadly, Elvis Presley died eight months later at Graceland.