Music fans will get what could be their last chance to see one of the original legends of rock'n'roll when Jerry Lee Lewis plays what has been billed as his farewell tour of the UK in September. The pioneering piano-pounder, who celebrates his 80th birthday on September 29, has announced dates at the London Palladium, September 6, and the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, September 10. The shows will feature guest appearances from guitarists James Burton, who formerly played with Lewis' one-time rival Elvis Presley; and Steve Cropper, from Booker T and the MGs.

Rock memoir

The announcement of the gigs coincides with the paperback publication of the singer's memoir, Jerry Lee Lewis - His Own Story, in which he told his story to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg. The book chronicles Lewis' impoverished upbringing in Ferriday, Louisiana, and his rise to fame in the 1950s with the classic rock'n'roll songs Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On.

Scandal and comeback

At the height of his fame in 1958, Lewis was making his debut tour of England when news broke of his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin Myra. The resulting scandal stalled his career, although he returned to the British Top 10 with his cover of the Ray Charles song What'd I Say in 1961.

In 1968, Lewis switched to country music and had a string of American hits in that format that stretched into the 1980s, including the number one hits To Make Love Sweeter For You and Would You Take Another Chance On Me.

Million Dollar Quartet

In 2006, Lewis enjoyed renewed acclaim for the duets album Last Man Standing, on which he was joined by guests including Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King and Little Richard. The title refers to him being the last survivor of the so-called Million Dollar Quartet - Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins - who recorded an informal jam session at Sun Records, the birthplace of rock'n'roll, in 1956. The session was celebrated in the recent Broadway and West End musical The Million Dollar Quartet in which Lewis was played by Levi Kreis.


Lewis' life was turned into a film, Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid, in 1989. His most recent album, Rock & Roll Time, was released last year. But despite the announcement of his farewell concerts, Lewis, who turns 80 on September 29, says he has another album in the works. "It will be Jerry Lee Lewis all the way - rock and Jerry Lee-style country blues," said the artist, who goes by the nickname The Killer.