Whole Lotta Jerry Lee Lewis

Rock and roll icon visits GRAMMY Museum
  • Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
    Jerry Lee Lewis performs at the GRAMMY Museum on Sept. 28
October 29, 2010 -- 4:00 am PDT

On the eve of his 75th birthday on Sept. 28, GRAMMY-winning rock and roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis visited the GRAMMY Museum for an intimate interview and performance. Lewis was joined by his daughter, Phoebe Lewis, who also executive produced his latest album, Mean Old Man.

Before an audience of 200, Lewis discussed the concept of the country-flavored Mean Old Man, which features duets with a variety of artists, including Solomon Burke, Sheryl Crow, John Fogerty, Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, and Kid Rock, among others.

Born in Ferriday, La., Lewis began playing the piano in his youth. "I was 5 years old," Lewis recalled, "And I walked over to [a piano] and played 'Silent Night.' And my mother said, 'My God, he's a natural born piano player.' And my daddy said, 'Cool down….'"

Lewis went on to formulate a unique style incorporating elements of R&B, boogie-woogie, gospel, and country. In 1956 he signed with Sun Records, recording as both a solo artist and session musician for the likes of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. Lewis would go on to record hits such as "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On," "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless." Lewis won a GRAMMY for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Recording for Interviews From The Class Of '55 Recording Sessions in 1986. The Recording Academy honored Lewis with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On" have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame.

Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include American Express Presents Elektra60 With Jac Holzman (Nov. 8), An Evening With Jimmie Vaughan (Nov. 9), An Evening With Cassandra Wilson (Nov. 11), and Latin Recording Academy Showcase: Perrozompopo (Nov. 16).

For more information on the GRAMMY Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org.

Click on the "GRAMMY Museum events" tag below for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.

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