In 1964 Jerry Lee Lewis was struggling back home in the US. He had recently moved from Sun to Smash Records, and they had a plan to get him a hit record. Just a few weeks before Landing in -England, Jerry Lee had recorded what many were sure would be his comeback hit: “I’m on Fire”. This great song never good further up than 98 on the charts, the Beatles was the new hot thing.
Jerry Lee traveled to Europe for 14 stops in England & 2 in West Germany. On this short tour Jerry Lee gave some outstanding performances, among them this Manchester TV Special & the Hamburg Star Club concert.
He was that kind of guy. All he wanted to do was get on the damn piano and do his stuff. And it was that kind of immediacy that we were aiming for. It wasn’t controlled. It’s a dangerous thing to do, and you wouldn’t be able to do it now.
~Philip Casson (Director of the TV Special)
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode,
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play a guitar just like a ringin’ a bell.
You can’t copyright guitar licks and maybe that’s good, because if you could, Chuck might have hoarded them as he does his Cadillacs. Without The Chuck Berry Riff, we’d lose not just the Beach Boys, but essential elements of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, and Bruce Springsteen — to mention only the most obvious examples. In a way, what was at the center of the first wave of the British Invasion could be described as a Chuck Berry revival.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock and Soul)
“Blue Suede Shoes” is a rock and roll standard written and first recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955 and is considered one of the first rockabilly (rock and roll) records and incorporated elements of blues, country and pop music of the time. Perkins’ original version of the song was on the Cashbox Best Selling Singles list for 16 weeks, and spent 2 weeks in the No. 2 position.
“…Take a picture of this The fields are empty, abandoned ’59 Chevy Laying in the back seat listening to Little Willie John Yea, that’s when time stood still…” – Robbie Robertson – Somewhere Down The Crazy River
William Edward “Little Willie” John (November 15, 1937 – May 26, 1968) was an American rock ‘n’ roll and R&B singer who performed in the 1950s and early 1960s. He is best known for his successes on the record charts, with songs such as “All Around the World” (1955), “Need Your Love So Bad” (1956), and “Fever” (1956). An important figure in R&B music of the 1950s, John was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.