Four-disc monument to the Killer, containing no filler… What with one thing and another, it took the Grand Ole Opry a while to invite Jerry Lee Lewis to make his debut. Sixteen years, in fact, from his first hits (“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On”, “Great Balls Of Fire” ) to finally ushering the Killer onto the stage of Nashville’s Ryman auditorium in January 1973. The high temple of the country music establishment had their reasons for hesitating. Lewis was not known for family-friendly behaviour, unless one counts as such already having three families by this point – one, to the detriment of his box office, with a cousin he’d wed when she was thirteen. But he’d grown up, surely. He was pushing 40. He’d married for a fourth time, to someone old enough to vote. And he was reinventing himself as a proper country singer – he’d had hits with versions of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee”, Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting For A Train” and Ray Griff’s “Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano?”. The Opry prepared to formally welcome the black sheep to the fold.
Hip-O Select's triple-disc 2012 set The Killer Live (1964-1970) fills a bit of a gap in Jerry Lee's archival discography by rounding up his four officially released live albums for Smash and Mercury: Live at the Star Club, Hamburg and The Greatest Live Show on Earth, both released in 1964; By Request: More of the Greatest Live Show on Earth from 1966; and Live at the International, Las Vegas in 1970. The Killer Live expands these four LP by adding 16 bonus tracks, ten of which are previously unreleased, all of which are equally as good as the finished albums – and that means they're terrific, as good as rock & roll music gets.
Two fine Jerry Lee Lewis albums from 1976 and 1977 The recordings produced the US Country hits ‘Come On In’, ‘Let’s Put It Back Together Again’ and ‘Middle Age Crazy’. Jerry Lee’s longtime relationship with Mercury Records and producer Jerry Kennedy was coming to an end at the time of these recordings, and Lewis was being affected by health problems. However, Kennedy coaxed performances from Lewis, resulting in these very successful albums. Digitally remastered and slipcased, and with extensive new notes.
Digitally remastered two CD set containing four Smash/Mercury Records albums from The Killer, dating from 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1978. Together features Jerry Lee's sister Linda Gail and the album included the US Country Top 10 single 'Don't Let Me Cross Over'. Live At The International and In Loving Memories - The Jerry Lee Lewis Gospel Album are what they say they are Keeps Rockin was his last for Mercury and with producer Jerry Kennedy. Like the others in this package, the album made the US Country charts, and also produced the Country hit 'I'll Find It Where I Can'. His gospel performances of "The Old Rugged Cross" and "The Lily of the Valley" and live renditions of "Jambalaya, " "Take These Chains from My Heart" and "Flip, Flop and Fly" join his country Top 10s "Don't Let Me Cross Over" and "I'll Find It Where I Can, " his spins on "Blue Suede Shoes, " "Roll Over Beethoven, " "Sweet Little Sixteen" and more.
Is there an early rock & roller who has a crazier reputation than the Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis? His exploits as a piano-thumping, egocentric wild man with an unquenchable thirst for living have become the fodder for numerous biographies, film documentaries, and a full-length Hollywood movie.
Sam Phillips didn't record anybody else the way he recorded Jerry Lee Lewis. With other artists, he pushed and prodded, taking his time to discover the qualities that made them uniquely human, but with Jerry Lee, he just turned the tape on and let the Killer rip. There was no need to sculpt because Lewis arrived at Sun Studios fully formed, ready to lean back and play anything that crossed his mind. Over the course of seven years, that's more or less how things were run at Sun: Lewis would sit at the piano and play, singing songs that were brought to him and songs that crossed his mind, and Sam never stopped rolling the tape.