November 02, 2007

"The Killer"—Jerry Lee Lewis—takes stage for American Music Masters Week

Case Western Reserve University and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to honor legend at conference

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Key-pumping piano player and country music great Jerry Lee Lewis will be hailed as one of music's founding fathers of rock 'n' roll when Case Western Reserve University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum present the 12th Annual American Music Masters Conference, "Whole Lotta Shakin': The Life and Music of Jerry Lee Lewis."

Lewis, who was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1986, is the first living legend to be honored in this series, which began in 1996 and recognizes rock 'n' roll's pioneering artists. Part of a weeklong celebration of Lewis's music and legacy that begins November 5 and features concerts, films and related events, the conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 10 in the Wolstein auditorium of the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Research Building, 2103 Cornell Road, on the Case Western Reserve campus.

"Jerry Lee Lewis introduced a new degree of danger and daring in popular music," said Mary E. Davis, Case associate professor of music and director of the AMM conference. "From his wild hair and bright striped shirts to his attacks on the keyboard—with his feet as well as his hands—he did everything he could to earn the nickname 'The Killer.' Not only did he shape the sound of rock 'n' roll, he created its look."

His sister, Linda Gail Lewis, a singer and the author of the autobiography, The Devil, Me and Jerry Lee, will open the conference. Award-winning author Peter Guralnick, who has written on Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke and a variety of other rock 'n' roll figures, will give the morning's keynote address.

Other participants include musicians Cowboy Jack Clement and Ken Lovelace, both of whom worked with Lewis; Knox Phillips, son of the founder of Sun Records, where Lewis recorded some of his biggest hits; rockabilly great Sleepy LaBeef; and Lewis associates J.W. Whitten and Cecil Harrison. Rockabilly artists Billy Lee Riley and Narvel Felts will close out the day with a discussion and musical demonstration.

Registration for the conference is required—free for Case students. Others may purchase tickets online. To learn more about American Music Masters events, visit the Web site or call (216) 368-6280.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, November 2, 2007 09:30 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, College of Arts and Sciences, Conferences/Symposia, Events, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives

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