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Jerry Lee Lewis

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 About Jerry Lee Lewis

If anyone gave Elvis a run for his money in the '50s, it was Jerry Lee Lewis--who was Sun Records proprietor Sam Phillips' next big star after Phillips sold Presley's contract to RCA in 1956. Lewis nearly stole the King's crown, especially when he was stationed in Germany during his Army stint, scoring huge rock 'n' roll hits with "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and Otis Blackwell's "Great Balls Of Fire."

Lewis recorded a vast array of tunes, touching on damn near every style except classical, during his time at Sun (all are actually available on several U.K. import box sets), until a scandal (marrying his 13-year-old cousin Myra before bothering to divorce his first two wives!) nearly derailed his career during a tour of England in the late '50s.

The Ferriday, Louisiana "Killer" forged on, however, playing second-rate night clubs and honky tonks for most of the '60s, until he scored a comeback of epic proportions by pursuing the country market during the '60s. Of course, he was the only country star who could actually open for the Doors at the Fillmore West one night, and then share the stage with his cousin Mickey Gilley and Merle Haggard several nights later.

As he has claimed, "I'm the only rock 'n' rollin', country singing', gospel-talkin', rhythm & blues, honky tonker in the music business"--and he is. A legend in his own time, he's defied death via his hard livin' style over and over again--and he remains one of a kind.
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