Family, friends and fans will gather Saturday at a memorial service in his northern Louisiana hometown to say goodbye to rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis.
Lewis, known for such hits as “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” died on October 28 at his home in Mississippi, south of Memphis, Tennessee. he was 87 years old.
Family members said Saturday’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. at Young’s funeral home in Feriday, the town where he was born. A private funeral will follow. A celebration of life is scheduled at 1pm at Arcade His Theater, also in Ferryday.
Lewis, who called himself “The Killer,” was the last surviving member of a generation of artists who rewrote music history, including Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
After his personal life fell apart in the late 1950s following the news of his marriage to his cousin, 13- and possibly 12-year-old Myra Gale Brown, his former wife, a piano player, and a rocker. was still married to Rebel was blacklisted from the radio, bringing his income to practically zero. In the decades that followed, Lewis struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, legal battles, and physical ailments.
In the 1960s, Lewis reinvented himself as a country performer, and the music industry finally forgave him. He made many of her country hits from 1967 to 1970, including “She Still Comes Around” and “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me).” Top 10 songs in a row.
Lewis was the cousin of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and country star Mickey Gilley. Swaggart and Lewis released his gospel album, The Boys from Ferryday, earlier this year. Swaggart will officiate at his funeral.
In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Elvis, Berry and others, and was inducted into the Country Hall of Fame this year. His life and music were reintroduced to young fans in his 1989 biopic Great Balls of Fire starring Dennis Quaid and his 2022 documentary Trouble in Mind with Ethan Coen. .
The 2010 Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet” was inspired by a recording session featuring Lewis, Elvis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.
Jerry Lee Lewis has died at the age of 87 after a successful rock and roll and country career and a turbulent personal life.
Lewis won a Grammy Award in 1987 for being part of an interview album cited for best spoken word recording, and a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2005.
The following year, “Whole Lotta Shakin'” was selected for the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, a committee praising its “thumping boogie piano perfectly complemented by JM Van Eaton’s energetic drumming drive” Did. Listeners of the recording, like Lewis himself, had difficulty sitting during the performance. ”
Associated Press writer Hillel Italy contributed to this report.