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Jerry Lee Lewis is a piano-playing rock 'n roll pioneer famous for his high energy stage presence and controversial life.
Watch a short video about Jerry Lee Lewis and the road he took to musical fame.
Jerry Lee Lewis describes recording with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash at Sun Studios.
Johnny Cash wrote one of his most well-known songs, "The Man in Black" to explain just why he always dresses in black.
On February 11, 1968 Johnny Cash recorded a live show at Folsom Prison in California offering the inmates the concert of a lifetime.
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Radio stations refused to play his songs, and Lewis had a hard time lining up any live performances.
Still Lewis managed to score one more hit with "High School Confidential" in 1958 before his career took a nosedive. He performed the song in the film by the same name starring Mamie Van Doren and Russ Tamblyn.
In the 1960s, Lewis returned to the music of his youth. He found a new career as a country artist, scoring a hit with 1968's "Another Place, Another Time." Lewis recorded several country albums over the next few years, including 1970's Olde Tyme Country Music and 1975's Boogie Woogie Country Man.
Lewis never left the rock world completely. In 1973, he did well on the album charts with The Session. He revisited some of his older songs as well as the works of Chuck Berry and John Fogerty on this popular recording. In his personal life, however, Lewis seemed to be struggling. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Memphis in 1973, and a bleeding ulcer almost cost him his life in 1981.
Luckily, the rest of the 1980s turned out much better for the music legend. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, becoming one of the first performers to receive this honor. A new generation music listeners got introduced to Lewis through the 1989 biopic Great Balls of Fire. Lewis was played by actor Dennis Quaid.
This nearly lifelong musician and singer continues to record new music and perform. He has released two well-received albums in recent years. For 2006's Last Man Standing, Lewis sang a number of rock, blues and country classics with some help from such famous admirers as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Buddy Guy. Collaborator Kristofferson described Lewis as "one of the few who can do rock 'n' roll, country or soul, and every song is authentic." He told USA Today that Lewis is "one of the best American voices ever."
Lewis and Kristofferson worked together again on Lewis's next effort, 2010's Mean Old Man. The all-star guests on this release, included Eric Clapton, Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and John Fogerty among others.
Lewis spends much of his time at his ranch in Nesbit, Mississippi. His daughter, Phoebe Lewis, has worked as his manager and served as a producer on some of his albums. Phoebe is from his third marriage to Myra Gale Brown. He is currently married to his seventh wife, Judith Brown, who was once married to Lewis's cousin Rusty. The couple wed in 2012.
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