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Jerry Lee Lewis

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Ferriday, Louisiana, U.S. (1954 – present)

Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana, U.S.) is an American and music singer, songwriter, and pianist, as well as an early pioneer of rock and roll music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Hall of Fame. His nickname is The Killer.

Like Elvis Presley, he was raised singing the Christian music of integrated southern Pentecostal churches. In 1950 he attended Southwestern Bible Institute in Texas but was expelled for misconduct, including playing rock and roll versions of in church. Pearry Green (then president of the student body) related how during a talent show Jerry played some worldly music. The next morning the Dean of the school called both Jerry and Pearry into his office to expel them both. Jerry then said that Pearry shouldn’t be expelled because “he didn’t know what I was going to do.” Years later Pearry asked Jerry: “Are you still playing the devil’s music?” Jerry replied, “Yes, I am. But you know it’s strange, the same music that they kicked me out of school for is the same kind of music they play in their churches today. The difference is, I know I am playing for the devil and they don’t.”

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