At the end of the 70s, Jerry Lee Lewis left Mercury Records after a successful fifteen years that saw his career spectacularly reborn in country music. Even after amassing 35 country hits there, country music was just one part of Jerry Lee Lewis’ musical soul. Now and then, Mercury had allowed him to deviate from the genre, but never far…and never for long. And, it was time for a musical walkabout.
Like his father, Knox Phillips intuitively understood how to produce Jerry Lee Lewis, allowing him free rein to plunder his subconscious for half-forgotten songs, and reimagine them in his imitable style – precisely what Jerry Lee had done with “Whole Lotta Shakin” twenty years earlier. Always after midnight, Knox would get a call from Jerry Lee, asking him – maybe telling him – to come open up the studio because he felt like recording. In those sessions, Jerry Lee crossed the breadth of American music from Stephen Foster to Jim Croce. After a nineteenth century gospel standard, “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior,” Jerry Lee would drawl his way imperiously through pop classics like “Harbor Lights.” To those, he added old country hits like “Room Full of Roses.” Although he wrote none of the songs, he imprints himself forcefully upon them all, perhaps never more so than on the bitterly regretful “That Kind of Fool.”
In all, the sessions capture 10 songs from one of the true giants of American music at his best – an enduring talent playing the music that he wanted to record and making each song into an expression of himself. While The Knox Phillps Sessions has collected dust for the better part of four decades, it’s now time for this brilliant collection to see the light of day. There have been plenty of Jerry Lee Lewis records, but none like this. The Knox Phillips Sessions will apeal to music fans who wish to hear songs from all across the breadth of American music transformed into a very personal artistic statement from a true interpretative genius.
For more information about Jerry Lee Lewis and The Knox Phillips Sessions, please visit www.saguarorecords.com.
Official Track Listing:
1. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
2. Ragged But Right
3. Room Full of Roses
4. Johnny B. Goode / Carol
5. That Kind of Fool
6. Harbor Lights
7. Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
8. Music! Music! Music! / Canadian Sunset
9. Lovin’ Cajun Style
10. Beautiful Dreamer