Jerry Lee Lewis Recovering From Stroke; New Album Due

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Jerry Lee Lewis (Photo via his Facebook page)

Jerry Lee Lewis has recovered significantly from the stroke he suffered on Feb. 28, 2019. So much, in fact, that the 84-year-old has recorded a new album.

Before he entered a Nashville recording studio with producer T-Bone Burnett, the legend had lost use of his right hand. So when he sat at a piano in January 2020, he was shocked to find that he was able to play.
“I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it,” Lewis told Rolling Stone. “I never experienced anything like that. There I was playing piano with my right hand. I thought I would never play again.”

Of the stroke and his recovery, Lewis said, “I’ve never experienced anything like it,” he says of his stroke. “It was very challenging, and it was a very emotional experience. I didn’t know what was going on. I just did some heavy praying, and tried to get back on the right track.”

A May 21, 2019, update on his Facebook page, indicated that he was “progressing miraculously in his recovery.” The legend was forced to cancel a July 1, 2019, performance that was scheduled for Nashville.

Less than three weeks after suffering the stroke, Lewis’ neurologist said that the music icon was “expected to fully recover with intensive rehab.” That March 18, 2019, statement from Dr. Rohini Bhole, posted on Lewis’ social media platforms, also indicated that he has been transferred to a rehabilitation center.

The May 21 update noted: “Although Jerry Lee is progressing miraculously in his recovery following the recent stroke, he doesn’t feel his performing is yet back to the level that his fans deserve. In the meantime, Jerry Lee is continuing his rehabilitation and his team expects a full recovery, as well as a return show in Nashville in the very near future.”

Lewis suffered what was described as “a minor stroke” on Feb. 28. The news was revealed on his Facebook page on March 1. At that time, the brief post indicated that “doctors expect a full recovery.”

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer greatly appreciates the prayers and well wishes he’s received from fans all over the world,” said the statement. “He wants them to know he can’t wait to get back on stage and into the studio to make his Gospel record.”

The original March 1 statement noted that the rock and roll original, 83, is said to be “recuperating in Memphis… and looks forward to getting back into the studio soon.”

His representative, Zach Farnum, told the Nashville Tennessean that he expected the “Killer” would be able to perform at his scheduled concert at 2019’s Jazz Fest. “He’s a devout Christian,” Farnum told the paper. “We’re just asking for prayers and support and privacy.” That performance was cancelled.

The piano-playing singer is one of the originators of rock and roll music alongside his Sun Records labelmate Elvis Presley.

He rocketed to fame on the strength of such hit singles as 1957’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” (#3) and “Great Balls of Fire” (#2) and 1958’s “Breathless” (#7) and “High School Confidential” (#21) until it became known at the start of a 1958 tour of Great Britain that the 22-year-old artist known as “The Killer” had married his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale.

In 1986, he was an inaugural inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Born on Sept. 29, 1935, and after seven marriages, the deaths of two wives and two sons, various arrests, tax troubles and numerous other travails, Lewis still continues to perform and record.

His most recent concert was February 16, 2019, in Greenville, S.C.

Watch the full set; Lewis joined his band after the first four songs (12-minute mark)

Related: Lewis is featured in our story, First Generation Rockers: Who’s Still With Us?

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

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  1. Dom
    #1 Dom 23 May, 2019, 11:14

    I love you Jerry Lee and wish you a speedy recovery please come and play in Pennsylvania when your recovered last time I saw you play here was in 1984 thank you sir best to you always

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  2. Kristian
    #2 Kristian 27 December, 2020, 08:44

    Jerry Lee, you are strong. Please come to Europe one more time, even to Scandinavia.
    We love you

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  3. Vickie
    #3 Vickie 15 May, 2021, 16:52

    Jerry my daddy and mom toured alot with you when i was a baby our whole family have a picture of you and him walking side by side talking to one another you both had a beer just smiling and having a good time i aso i pictures of my mother lockin lips with Kenny loveless that was her man lol i also have a picture of me and you side by side and you kissed mu check at frech lick Indiana also have a brother named after you we love you Jerry i so hope to see you again im my life time so does my dad thank you so much for all the memories

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  4. Ade68
    #4 Ade68 20 November, 2021, 16:16

    Never been lucky enough to see you perform live but that would one of my xmas wishes granted if i did. However after seeing your sibling linda Gail perform on numerous ocassions i think you both would make a great r n roll duet on the piano. Wow what a show that would be? May be worth comsidering i guess? Hope to see you soon jerry

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