Photo: Silvio Tanaka

Legendary Rock ‘N Roller Jerry Lee Lewis: Dead At 87

Iconic rockabilly / rock ‘n’ great Jerry Lee Lewis passed away on Friday (10.28) at his home in Desoto County, Mississippi. He was 87 years old.

In a statement about the legendary musician’s death, his publicist Zach Farnum wrote:

“He was there at the beginning, with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and the rest, and watched them fade away one by one till it was him alone to bear witness, and sing of the birth of rock’n’roll.”

Best known in the 1950s for such hits as ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,’ ‘Great Balls of Fire,’ ‘Breathless,’ and ‘High School Confidential,’ his career was derailed in 1958 when it became public that the rocker, then 22, had married his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown while still married to his previous wife.

Throughout the years, Lewis’ private life was mired by scandal due to his propensity for prescription drugs, legal disputes, allegations of abuse and run-ins with the authorities. And he was infamously arrested in 1976 for crashing his car into the gates of Elvis Presley’s Graceland with a loaded gun inside the vehicle.

Despite his challenges, Jerry Lee Lewis enjoyed a resurgence in his popularity when he transitioned to country music in the late ’60s. Throughout his career, the singer/songwriter released more than 40 studio albums, won four Grammy Awards, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Silvio Tanaka