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"Great Balls of Fire"
Single by Jerry Lee Lewis
Released November 1957
Recorded October 8, 1957, Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre Rock and roll, country
Label Sun 281
Writer(s) Otis Blackwell, Jack Hammer

"Great Balls of Fire" is a 1957 song written by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer.[1]

Jerry Lee Lewis recording

The song is best known for Jerry Lee Lewis's rendition, which was recorded in the Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee on October 8, 1957, and released as a 45rpm single on Sun 281 in November 1957. It reached #2 on the Billboard pop charts, #3 on the R&B charts, and #1 on the country charts. It also reached #1 on the UK pop charts.

The song was featured in a performance by Jerry Lee Lewis and his band in the 1957 Warner Brothers rock and roll film Jamboree, which also featured Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Knox, and Dick Clark. The recording was also released in the UK on London Records.

The song was ranked as the 96th greatest song ever by Rolling Stone.[2]

The song title is derived from a Southern expression, which some Christians consider blasphemous, that refers to the Pentecost's defining moment when the Holy Spirit manifested itself as "cloven tongues as of fire" and the Apostles spoke in tongues.

Other recordings

Notes

Preceded by
"The Story of My Life" by Marty Robbins
C&W Best Sellers in Stores
number one single by Jerry Lee Lewis

January 6, 1958
(two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Ballad of a Teenage Queen" by Johnny Cash

"Great Balls of Fire"
Single by Jerry Lee Lewis
Released November 1957
Recorded October 8, 1957, Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre Rock and roll, country
Label Sun 281
Writer(s) Otis Blackwell, Jack Hammer

"Great Balls of Fire" is a 1957 song written by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer.[1]

Contents

Jerry Lee Lewis recording

The song is best known for Jerry Lee Lewis's rendition, which was recorded in the Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee on October 8, 1957, and released as a 45rpm single on Sun 281 in November 1957. It reached #2 on the Billboard pop charts, #3 on the R&B charts, and #1 on the country charts. It also reached #1 on the UK pop charts.

The song was featured in a performance by Jerry Lee Lewis and his band in the 1957 Warner Brothers rock and roll film Jamboree, which also featured Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Knox, and Dick Clark. The recording was also released in the UK on London Records.

The Jerry Lee Lewis rendition was ranked as the 96th greatest song ever by Rolling Stone.[2]

The song title is derived from a Southern expression, which some Christians consider blasphemous, that refers to the Pentecost's defining moment when the Holy Spirit manifested itself as "cloven tongues as of fire" and the Apostles spoke in tongues.

Legacy

Levi Kreis, portraying Jerry Lee Lewis, sang "Great Balls of Fire" in the Broadway musical "Million Dollar Quartet," which opened in New York in April, 2010;[3] and Kreis covered the song on the "Million Dollar Quartet" original Broadway cast recording (copyright 2010 by MDQ Merchandising, LLC).[4] Levi Kreis won a 2010 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in “Million Dollar Quartet.” [5]

Other recordings

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6595941/great_balls_of_fire
  2. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11028260/the_rs_500_greatest_songs_of_all_time/1. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  3. ^ Zielinski, Peter James. "Photo Coverage: Million Dollar Quartet Opens on Broadway". Posted: 12:04 PM; Monday, April 12, 2010. [1]
  4. ^ MDQ Merchandising LLC (2010). “Song List” and “Performing Credits”. In Million Dollar Quartet (p. 5) [CD booklet]. New York City: Avatar Studios; and Chicago: Chicago Recording Company.
  5. ^ Broadway.com Staff. "Rocker-Turned-Broadway Star Levi Kreis Wins Tony for Million Dollar Quartet". Broadway.com: Posted 9:23 PM, June 13, 2010. [2]
Preceded by
"The Story of My Life" by Marty Robbins
C&W Best Sellers in Stores
number one single by Jerry Lee Lewis

January 6, 1958
(two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Ballad of a Teenage Queen" by Johnny Cash







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