A Louisiana boy with the fervor of a music with-the-modern-beat is burning up the radio, television and film industries with an impact not felt since Frank Sinatra, Johnny Bay or Elvis Presley became triple threats.
He is 21-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis, of Ferriday, Louisiana.
Jerry Lee skyrocketed to the top of popularity and record sales with a catchy number entitled, “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,”‘ and on the strength of his singing appearances on national television shows, he was cast by Warner Bros. in “Jamboree.” The film premieres today at the Uptown Theatre, and features 17 top-name recording artists and 19 of the nation’s favorite disc jockeys in what is promised to be the hottest jam session on celluloid ever.
“Jamboree,” a full-length musical filmed in New York and produced by Max Rosenberg’s Vanguard Productions, introduces Jerry Lee and a song written especially for him — “Great Balls of Fire.” The song was written by Otis Blackwell, the tunesmith who gave Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” and other top-sellers.
The Louisiana singer portrays himself in “Jamboree,” highlighting a music convention and a national telethon where he introduces his “Great Balls of Fire” rendition.
He made a tremendous impact on the nation’s television audience last July with his “Shakin'” song on the Steve Allen Show. So overwhelming was the mail and demand for a return visit that Jerry Lee returned on Allen’s show to repeat the same song. It was the first time an artist had been brought back for an encore within two weeks.
Jerry Lee, a taciturn individual of rugged appeal, sings what he calls “music with a modern beat.”
His stint in “Jamboree,” “Great Balls of Fire,” had all the technicians bouncing with the infectious beat, and Director Roy Lockwood called for two repeats even after a satisfactory screen filming had been made just to appease Lewis’ aficionados on the set.
“Jamboree” features 20 new songs to be introduced with the release of the film.
Jerry Lee Lewis performing “Great Balls Of Fire”
As seen on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show on February 14, 1958. (The song starts at 1:10 into the video.)