Rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, RIP

"The Killer," Jerry Lee Lewis, pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly, has died at age 87. Lewis—known for his explosive boogie woogie piano playing—began his musical career at Memphis's storied Sun Records and, in 1957, blew up with "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" followed by "Great Balls of Fire" and other classic tunes. In 1958 though, his rock and roll moment came to a screeching halt when a journalist revealed that the 13-year-old girl traveling with him on his big UK tour was his wife, and his cousin. Eventually, he revived his career with a string of country music and pop songs but his life continued to have numerous tragic turns, from ongoing struggles with drugs and alcohol to the time Lewis accidentally shot his bass player in the chest to being jailed for drunk driving after running his Lincoln Continental through the front gates of Elvis Presley's Graceland estate.

But damn, he sure could play those keys.

"Jerry Lee Lewis, a Rock 'n' Roll Original, Dies at 87" (New York Times)

image: Jerry Lee Lewis publicity photo