Cowboy Anton puts on his blue suede shoes and talks about some of his best Rock and Roll memories:
"The best book about Jerry Lee Lewis I've ever read is Jimmy Guterman's Rockin' My Life Away, because it focuses on what really matters: The Killer's music as it intersects with his life. I highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in learning more about such a unique artist.
In 1989, a major motion picture based on his early life in rock & roll, Great Balls of Fire!, brought Jerry Lee Lewis back into the public eye, especially when he decided to re-record all his songs for the movie soundtrack. The film was based on the book by Lewis's ex-wife, Myra Gale Lewis, and starred Dennis Quaid as Lewis, Winona Ryder as Myra, and Alec Baldwin as Jimmy Swaggart. The movie focuses on Lewis's early career and his relationship with Myra, and ends with the scandal of the late 1950s. A year later, in 1990, Lewis made minor news when a new song he co-wrote called "It Was the Whiskey Talkin' (Not Me)" was included in the soundtrack to the hit movie Dick Tracy.
In 1997 The great Jerry Lee Lewis guests on a TNN show at the Ryman Auditorium, with Steve Wariner and Ricky Skaggs. At this same venue, I saw The Killer about a decade and a half later, and he was still rocking and belting out country songs in style. Here's a taste of what Jerry Lee sounds like at the Ryman—American music at its best!
A mid-tempo version of the Ray Price hit "Crazy Arms" was Jerry Lee Lewis' first single on the Sun Records label. The flipside was "End of the Road," an excellent rocker that has been overlooked throughout the years, perhaps because of the prominence of Jerry's first hits, "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin'," which were still to come. Here's "End of the Road," which Lewis also played during the famous Million Dollar Quartet Session.
More about rock. Oklahoma-born Eddie Cochran was one of the classiest pioneering rockers of the 1950s, with lots of talent to match his good looks. He was a good songwriter, a fine vocalist, and he could play some pretty mean guitar. If a tragic car crash in England hadn't cut his life short in 1960, he could have been an even bigger star. In the late '50s, Cochran guested on the California-based TV show, Town Hall Party, and fortunately his entire performance survives, complete with a charming interview with country singer Johnny Bond.
Before his first official recording session at Sun Records in Memphis with Scotty Moore and Bill Black, Elvis Presley cut two private records at the famed studio owned by Sam Phillips. The first of them included a ballad, "My Happiness," and an old Ink Spots number, "That's When Your Heartaches Begin." This one was supposedly made as a present for his mother, though this theory isn't supported by all researchers. The second one featured this beautiful country ballad, "I'll Never Stand in Your Way," performed in a very charming way by a very young Elvis. Nothing in here foreshadows the rockabilly sound that would be soon to come..." - by Cowboy Anton.