Friday, January 9, 2015

Real Rock and Roll

Just finished the recent biography of Jerry Lee Lewis by Rick Bragg.  Needless to say, Jerry Lee was one phenomenal performer...  I've been watching a bunch of YouTube videos to complement the book.  And it confirms my belief that nearly all modern pop and rock, even Indy stuff, is basically crap.  The originals are still the greatest!

Jerry Lee mentions an important influence on his career, the blind pianist Paul Whitehead.  I can't find much at all on the web, perhaps my search criteria is poor.  But there was a reference in the book to one tune that Whitehead plays on, backing the guitarist and vocalist Gray Montgomery.

The tune is "Right Now", and can be heard, thankfully, on YouTube.  There's a nice Paul Whitehead piano break in the middle of the song, and I guess the only known recording of this great musician. (There is some background on the scene and these musicians from the '50s here).

This rockabilly tune is all you need to hear to understand the soul of rock and roll and why I can't appreciate any of the modern garbage.  Really, just listen to "Right Now", it's all there...


Unknown said...

Paul Whitehead was my Uncle.

Sherm Clow said...

Amazing! Thanks for commenting. I'm happy you found my blog post on your uncle. Do you have any other recordings featuring his piano work?

Paul Beecham said...

Hi Sherm,
Have you heard the b side, It’s All Right (Montgomery); it’s almost more Jerry Lee than Jerry Lee! Copies of the record are available now on ebay. I think this single is essential listening to all r’n’r and c’n’w enthusiasts, whether mere fans, like myself, or music historians. Keep on keepin’ on!
Paul Beecham