“Blue Suede Shoes” is a rock-and-roll standard written and first recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955. It is considered one of the first rockabilly records, incorporating 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 two weeks at the number two position.
Rock and roll made you oblivious to the fear, busted down the barriers that race and religion, ideologies put up. We lived under a death cloud; the air was radioactive. There was no tomorrow, any day it could all be over, life was cheap… Jerry Lee Lewis came in like a streaking comet from some far away galaxy. Rock and roll was atomic powered, all zoom and doom. It didn’t seem like an extension of anything but it probably was.
-Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan, 2017)
Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as “rock & roll’s first great wild man.”
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)
In November , Van appeared with Jerry Lee Lewis at the Hammersmith Odeon, performing two songs, “Goodnight Irene” and “What´d I Say”. On the first of these, Lewis looks half stuffed, stiff back and trading phrases with Van, who badly needs a haircut, but drives the old rock´n´roller on. Lewis´s stubby fingers can still coax magic out of his grand piano.
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)
Wonderful to see these two giants perform together.
Jerry Lee Lewis & Van Morrison
Hammersmith Odeon, London
I like this town, it’s really great. They’ve put me in The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This town is about music. It’s about the kind of music I like.
I used to go down every year for the remembrance of Elvis’ birthday. Memphis State College invited me to sit in the auditorium and speak to the people for one of those Elvis days.
Blackwell’s songwriting style is as identifiable as that of Willie Dixon or Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. He helped formulate the musical vocabulary of rock & roll when the genre was barely breathing on its own.
~Bill Dahl (allmusic.com)