Apropos to the festivities, Alfred arrived on the scene to premiere the first documentary-style DVD of its kind to shed light on Lewis’s life as never seen before. Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer Piano, broadcast for hundreds in the Museum’s 4th Floor Theater, proved to be much more than a mere study of Lewis as the defining rock and roll legend; this insightful glimpse showed a true man behind the ivories – one who led a very real, very sensational life. In the film, he speaks candidly about his 50-year recording career, reminisces with his family, and waxes nostalgic over his childhood years. Peppered with spontaneous demonstrations of his many favorite rock and roll and country songs, the DVD also includes historic footage from Lewis’s live performance in Las Vegas, his original appearance on the Steve Allen show, and to add to the authentic charm, the entire feature is hosted by the great Linda Gail Lewis.
“ It was an honor and a privilege to work with Jerry Lee Lewis on this film,” says Aaron Stang, Producer of Alfred Publishing’s Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer Piano. “We managed to capture a true legend as very few have seen him, speaking candidly about his music career and spontaneously playing the songs that made him famous. We’re very proud of the film, and we’re honored to have hosted the world premiere at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s weeklong induction ceremony of Jerry Lee into the American Music Masters.”
Todd Mesek, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had this to say: “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was proud to partner with Alfred Publishing in celebrating the life, legacy and music of Jerry Lee Lewis. Incorporating the world premier of Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer Piano into our weeklong tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis was a fitting way to celebrate this American Music Master. The footage and interviews contained in the film helped tell the full story of Jerry Lee Lewis’ contribution to the American Songbook. We look forward to working more with Alfred Publishing in our efforts to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music.”
“Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer Piano is a rare film,” comments Dr. Warren Zanes, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Education Advisor and Public Programs Producer. “It was one of the most talked about facets of our American Music Masters 2007 celebration. The film’s intimacy alone marks it as an exceptional document. Never have we seen this side of Jerry Lee Lewis. A remarkable film.”
“We are pleased to have partnered with Alfred Publishing on this groundbreaking documentary film and landmark educational video,” asserted Michael Blitzer, President of Brasstacks Alliance LLC. “Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer Piano offers viewers a rare glimpse into the heart and soul and inimitable piano technique of a true musical genius and one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Both Mr. Lewis and his daughter Phoebe, President of Pont Neuf, Inc. were impressed with Alfred’s professionalism during each phase of the production and their unflagging commitment to excellence as well as their track record of helping people of all ages learn, teach and play music.”
The celebration concluded with a tribute concert on Saturday, November 10, 2007 at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre, where unmatched talent gathered to pay homage to the music legend by means of performance. Among them were artists Terry Adams of NRBQ, Jack Clement, Del McCoury, Narvel Felts, Chrissie Hynde, Wanda Jackson, Kris Kristofferson, Sleepy LaBeef, Linda Gail Lewis, Shelby Lynn, Billy Lee Riley, Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, George Thorogood, and Jason D. Williams. In true form, Jerry Lee Lewis closed the show with a breathtaking rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” proving yet again that he is a true visionary and a role model of epic proportions: the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Consumers can purchase Jerry Lee Lewis: Killer Piano now for only $29.95 by visiting your favorite retailer. For more information and a list of retailers, please visit www.alfred.com/JerryLeeLewis .
About The American Music Masters® Series
The American Music Masters® series, a co-production of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, celebrates the lives and careers of artists who changed the shape and sound of American culture.
Now in its 12th year, the series explores the legacy of one of those pioneering figures in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall’s education department. Drawing together music experts, artists, fans and friends, these events aim to provide new perspectives on some of the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.
Since the series began in 1996, the museum has paid tribute to Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, Louis Jordan, Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Lead Belly, Sam Cooke, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis.
American Music Masters® programs are designed not only to honor the individuals who contributed to rock and roll’s rise in the 1950s and 1960s but also to trace the lines of descent to contemporary popular music. American Music Masters® concerts include a diverse mix of artists and musical styles: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Bruce Springsteen, Ruth Brown, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers Band, Robert Plant, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, Chrissie Hynde and Pete Seeger have all performed.
Through this series, the Museum further achieves its goal of increasing public knowledge and appreciation for rock and roll music and its history.