Jerry Lee Lewis: A Life on Fire
with Paul Lovelace, Calvert Morgan
The artistic and personal journey of JERRY LEE LEWIS is as epic—and harrowing—a story as any in the history of popular music. Born in Depression-era Louisiana, kicked out of Bible college in Texas, the piano-pumping rock pioneer set the world afire in 1957 with the Sun Records hits “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire.” With his untamed onstage style, he emerged as the first truly dangerous rock icon, threatening Elvis Presley’s throne—until Jerry Lee’s career collapsed amid personal scandal. In the decades that followed, the man they called the Killer led a stormy personal life, marrying seven times, losing two wives and two sons in tragic accidents, fueling his body and numbing his sorrow with a host of vices, coming close to death at least twice himself. Money was both plentiful and scarce; a protracted battle with the IRS drove him to exile overseas. And, throughout his life, he was haunted by the flame-hot tension between his two great beliefs: in his music, and in a God that might send him to Hell for it.