#79: Bonnie B by Jerry Lee Lewis
In 1935 Jerry Lee Lewis was born in Ferriday, Louisiana. On a 1961 album liner note, it was written “From the time he was big enough to reach the keyboard he has been playing and singing.” At the age of nine he started playing the piano. He imitated the styles of preachers and black musicians that passed through his community. His playing style was creative and outrageous. Jerry Lee Lewis rose to become one of rock ‘n rolls’ first showman in the mid-50s. He incorporated some of what he heard into his musical style from listening to radio shows like the Grand Ole Opry and Louisiana Hayride. Among his influences were Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and Al Jolson. At the age of ten his dad decided to mortgage the family farm so he could purchase a piano for Jerry Lee to play. Lewis first performed in public when he was fourteen years old at the opening of a local car dealership. At age fourteen he quit school and honed his musical skills. But before he became a famous recording act, Lewis sold sewing machines to help make some money.