Jerry Lee Lewis has led a long and storied life, and there are as many rumors and legends about him as there are facts. That means we get a lot of questions about the Killer, and we’ve put together some of the most common for this official FAQ.
When was Jerry Lee Lewis born?
September 29, 1935
Where was Jerry Lee Lewis born?
Ferriday, a small town in northeastern Louisiana.
What kind of family did Jerry Lee Lewis come from?
Jerry Lee’s parents were farmers. He grew up in a small family in northern Louisiana with a strong religious upbringing.
When did Jerry Lee Lewis get his first piano?
He started playing when he was 9 years old, and he got his first piano when he was 10, in 1945. His father mortgaged the family farm in order to pay for the piano. It was made by P.A. Starck, and Jerry Lee still has it, although he says it’s just about worn it out now. You can see the piano at The Lewis Ranch.
How did Jerry Lee Lewis get the nickname, “The Killer”?
Many people think it’s because of his rowdy reputation or because of how he knocked out audiences. The truth is that “killer” was a common slang term during Jerry Lee’s youth, and he would say goodbye to his friends by saying, “See ya later, killer.” This became his nickname before he had a performing career.
Where was Jerry Lee Lewis’ first performance?
Jerry Lee’s first performance ever was at the opening of a local used car dealership in 1949, when he was 14.
Is Jerry Lee Lewis religious?
Yes. Jerry Lee has always been a devout Christian, despite his sometimes wild antics when he was younger. He got his start playing in church, and continues to love gospel and soul music to this day. As a young musician, he expressed hesitation when he was first given material for “Great Balls of Fire,” as he didn’t want rock ‘n’ roll to be seen as sinful.
When did Jerry Lee Lewis move to Memphis?
He came to Memphis in November 1956, in order to audition for Sun Records.
How did Jerry Lee Lewis get his first big break?
Jerry Lee was a prolific artist and made a point to play with as many musicians as possible. This helped him get attention from big names and ultimately partner with Johnny Cash and other well-known rockabilly artists early in his career. At Sun Records, he worked as a session musician, recording piano for on other groups’ tracks.
When did Jerry Lee Lewis record his first record at Sun Studios?
His first single was a cover of Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms,” recorded in 1956.
Which song made Jerry Lee Lewis famous?
“Crazy Arms” got recognition across the South, and sold a respectable 30,000 copies. But it was “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” that rocketed him to worldwide fame in 1957.
How many gold records does Jerry Lee Lewis have?
How many movies has Jerry Lee Lewis made?
Jerry Lee has appeared in five feature films, and acted in three of them.
What was Jerry Lee Lewis’ first television appearance?
Jerry Lee Lewis had his first television appearance on “The Steve Allen Show” in 1957.
Is Jerry Lee Lewis married?
Yes, he has been married to his wife Judith since 2012.
Does Jerry Lee Lewis still tour?
Yes! Jerry Lee had his nationwide “80th Birthday Tour” in 2015, and continues to give concerts on a regular schedule. You can find dates and ticket info here.