When I was a kid, my family would take vacations to Panama City Beach. I think it was right before the second trip that our family bought a new station wagon. This vehicle featured an 8-track tape player, something that our family never had before in the house or in a car. For what I would imagine was at least a ten hour trip, our family had 3 tapes. Each tape lasted about 45 minutes at best. One was from a local gospel group called The Jones Family that we knew personally. There was also a recent hits compilation like the K-Tel releases. This particular tape was a K-Tel type knock-off, poorly put together and probably no royalties going to the artists or original record companies. It included two songs I specifically remember that were big hits at the time, Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis” and Ray Stevens’ “The Streak”. This 8-track was a loaner from some of our neighbors. The third tape that we had was another loaner called “Jerry Lee Lewis Sings Country Music Hall of Fame Hits Volume 2”.
My sister and I loved the pop music on the compilation tape and my dad gravitated to the gospel music. The Jerry Lee Lewis tape was a good compromise at times and a reasonable break from the other music. I’ve never been a big fan of country music but Jerry Lee Lewis’ take on these classic songs made them more appealing to me. I remember how sad I was years later when that tape broke. I never expected to be able to replace it. And I never did replace it on 8-track.
Several years later, I ran across a copy of it on vinyl at a record store in Memphis. I didn’t buy it then but wished that I had. I don’t remember where I was when I finally picked up a copy of it on vinyl.
But a few years later I was no longer using my turntable. All of my records were in storage. I listened to most of my music on CD and occasionally listened to an mp3. I could not find this album anywhere. I looked in record stores and everywhere I could think of on-line. It could not be found.
I was in Nashville with my son and I took him down to Broadway. We ate at a restaurant there and visited some of the guitar shops in the area. We also stopped at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. I thought that if any store had this Jerry Lee Lewis CD available, they would have it. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a CD that included both volumes.
When I read the liner notes, I was surprised to find out that Jerry Lee Lewis did not play piano on most of the tracks on these discs. A session musician did most of the piano work, although it was done in a style very similar to Jerry Lee’s.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller