hey all,
    i have a new gig where one of the songs is in the style of  jerry lee lewis/chuck berry (fast straight eighths etc.)  can anybody recommend some good recordings to get some licks off of?

thanks,
james
There are 5 comments, leave a comment.
18 original sun greatest hits.  the original source.
  
great balls of fire soundtrack. great quality, and you can still get it new from amazon.  

they just released a new live album: live from austin, tx.  haven't heard it, but austin city limits recordings are usually pretty topnotch.  and jerry lee is better technically on the keys in the 70's-80's.  he plays more runs and does some bluesier things, rather than just playing chords.
the best live recording is a show jerry played in april 1983 at the hammersmith in london. it was released on video at the time and i have it now on dvd. it is not available on dvd at the moment (mine was transferred from laser disc) but there are a few clips on the internet (mona lisa). this show has rock'n'roll, gospel, country and my favourite ever version of georgia on my mind (beautiful piano solo). lets hope they release it on dvd. i pretty much learnt to play piano and improvise from this show!  

the austin city limits is good but not the best!  

and don't forget live at the star club cd!!!

and last man standing live dvd - some great moments including crazy arms with norah jones and cry (fantastic solo!) - and this was recorded in 2006!

bro'
while i love jerry lee and the bear family box set of sun recordings is one of my favorites -- but also, check out as mentioned above "last man standing" ("rock and roll" with jimmy page is worth the price alone), it could also be a good idea to check out the man behind another style of rock and roll -- johnnie johnson.

he's got a very good homespun video out with some notation included -- basically it's a recorded concert with some chit-chat, but that's why i like it.  no spoon-feeding or anything, but he does slow some things down, and you get to hear his lh, which is hard on a lot of the recordings he made in the 1950s.  forget about just looking at the notation and playing it, though -- it takes years to get good at that style.  maybe enough for one tune on one job, though, you could lift something.

any good chuck berry compilation should have a whole lot of johnnie johnson all over it.  some people say ike turner invented rock and roll with "rocket 88," but i think it was really all there in johnnie johnson's incredible style.
there's also a keyboard magazine article written around the time the movie was released (the one with the [self-censorship] winona ryder in it [17 years old at the time, i believe]) which contains a transcription of his original "crazy arms" solo and the version of the solo from "great balls of fire" recorded for the movie.
yeah, johnnie johnsons playing is wonderful - i must get the homespun dvd. he can play it jazzy too !

and another early pioneer was amos milburn but jerry lees biggest influence was country boogie star moon mullican.
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