Jerry Lee Lewis: Live From Austin Texas
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From the vaults of the award-winning PBS Austin City Limits TV show, this is the latest release in the acclaimed Live From Austin, TX series.
Rock and Roll s the thing, and Jerry Lee s the King... or so said an English fan once upon a time somewhere. Elvis fans might dispute that title, but nobody else in the history of popular music would dare call himself The Killer. Of all the legends who came out of Sun Records in the 1950s Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison no one would have bet the last one standing would be the pill-popping, whiskey-guzzling, gun-waving hellion from Ferriday, La. Except The Killer, of course.
Jerry Lee Lewis took black rhythm & blues, white gospel and other funky Mississippi sounds and turned them into rock and roll. But Jerry Lee s life also is, and has always been, his piano; he has kicked and banged and set on fire (literally) many of them over the course of six-plus decades.
He almost never made it to Austin City Limits. He cancelled one appearance, and only weeks before this recording on October 17, 1983, his wife died in a freak swimming pool accident at their home. But he did make it, and what we have here is one of the most amazing performances ever to go down on the ACL stage. Throughout the day he was a perfect gentleman, showing up on time and acting very graciously to one and all, but once he hit the stage, all hell broke loose. The songs speak for themselves; they re ALL here.
For many years later, Jerry Lee would carry a tape of this show to play for friends (and himself, many times). When producers tried to book him again for a return performance, the response was, Jerry Lee doesn t think he could possibly do a better show.
This DVD captures all the hits and more, and includes songs that were never aired on the original TV broadcast.
From the Live from Austin, TX series documenting performances from the syndicated Austin City Limits public television program comes this volume of Jerry Lee Lewis from October of 1973. According to Terry Lickona's liner notes, Lewis' wife had died a few weeks earlier in a very controversial swimming pool accident and he almost didn't make it. Those lucky enough to hear this performance -- and now see it on the DVD version as well -- are lucky he did. Of the many officially released and bootlegged performance of the Killer from his mid-'50s debut on Sun to the present day, this one ranks among the finest. There are 15 cuts here, featuring Lewis fronting a taut sextet that includes guitarists Kenny Lovelace and Joel Shumaker, bassist Bob Moore, organist Bill Strom, and drummer Buddy Harmon. The tunes range from Hank Williams' "You Win Again" to Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little 16," "39 and Holding," "C.C. Rider," "Chantilly Lace" (leaving the Big Bopper's version in the dust), Charlie Rich's "No Headstone on My Grave," Ray Charles' "What'd I Say," and more, all topped off by his best-known tracks: "Great Balls of Fire" (written by Otis Blackwell, the man who made Elvis Presley famous) and, of course, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." The show is beautifully edited and the Killer's control of the gig is total. He understands how to bring it down and tear it up. There are a number of volumes in this series that simply don't get it for one reason or another; Jerry Lee's gig on Austin City Limits does -- and hard. Get it. --allmusic.comSee all Editorial Reviews