“Last night, Jerry Lee Lewis suffered a minor stroke. He is with his family, recuperating in Memphis and the doctors expect a full recovery. The Killer looks forward to getting back into the studio soon to record a Gospel record and on the road performing live for his fans. His family requests privacy at this time. Well wishes and prayers are greatly appreciated.
‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord – Jeremiah 30:17.’”
Like Elvis Presley two years before him, Lewis broke through on Memphis’ Sun Records, scoring a hit with “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” in 1957. His songs like “Great Balls of Fire,” “High School Confidential” and “Breathless” defined the genre. His career famously fell apart in 1958 when it was revealed that he had married an underage relative, Myra, but he had a major country comeback beginning in the late Sixties. He played as recently as February 16th in Greenville, South Carolina.
When Rolling Stone last caught up with him, he was steadfast and clear about his legacy: “I had created rock & roll before they ever thought about having rock & roll,” he says. “When Elvis come out, he was rockabilly. When I come out with ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,’ that was rock & roll. That’s when the name ‘rock & roll’ was put in front.”