(Nesbit, MS) At 77 years young, Jerry Lee Lewis is known to fans simply as the killer for his songs and the way he tickles the ivory.
“I created my own style. My momma and daddy taught me. They played piano, too. They didn’t play like I play,” Lewis said.
Fans say nobody plays piano like Jerry Lee. Even as kid his piano teacher found that out the hard way.
“I took one lesson and I told the guy(piano teacher) wouldn’t the song sound better played like this? I played it my way. He slapped me and never got any more lessons.”
His music would take him from his home in Louisiana to Memphis to record at Sam Phillip’s Sun Studio on Union Avenue in Memphis.
“He put the tape on and recorded Crazy Arms and that’s the record they released and it sold 300,000 copies, which wasn’t bad for a beginner(laughter).”
He was a beginner, who along with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins seen in the historic picture would be part of the Million Dollar Quartet at Sun Studio.
They turned vinyl records into gold.
“We made a lot of history, you know. to me it’s the most important music in the world come out of Memphis.”
Hit records line the walls of his home in Nesbit, Mississippi, but he’s still touring and has a new CD coming out called “Rock ‘n Roll Times.”
“It’s got a great sound to it. It’s just a Jerry Lee Lewis sound.”
You might think one of his all time favorite songs might be “Great Balls of Fire” or “Whole Lotta of Shaking Going On,” but it’s not.
“My favorite song, I guess would be The Old Rugged Cross. That’s my favorite song.”
The man once nicknamed the Rock n’ Roll’s first wildman because of his public and private life says his favorite song is a reflection of his faith.
“I’d say God is number one in my life. Yeah, I trust God all the way.”
He was also married for the seventh time last year. His wife, Judith, says their love, his music and the opening of the new Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe and Honkytonk on Beale Street keep him young.
“We actually fell in love about three and a half years ago, But I have known him for 25 years. I think that and getting the new restaurant on Beale Street and being able to see that Memphis appreciates him because he never left Memphis. He loves Memphis. He sings from his heart. He still loves what he does. He sings for the people” Judith Lewis said.
Jerry Lee Lewis, the last living member of the Million Dollar Quartet is still playing his piano and making unforgettable music for his fans.
“Remember how it sounds, remember the songs, remember the piano player and a singer.”