Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"GREAT BALLS OF FIRE" - B.M.I. - 1:50
- Jack Hammer-Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Unichappell Music
Matrix number: - U 277 - Master
- October 8, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
- November 3, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 281-A mono
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE / YOU WIN AGAIN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-1-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3
Reached number 2 on the Billboard's Pop charts; number 3 on the Rhythm and Blues charts.
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
J.M. Van Eaton - Drums
New York publisher, Paul Case, gave Jack Hammer's irresistible title to Otis Blackwell, who came up with an entirely
new discourse. After agreeing to cut the song, Jerry Lee initially wrestled with his conscience over the tone of the lyrics. The deliberation was worth it because many highlights resulted, particularly his demarcating piano solo that shamelessly hocks the
bass riff from Little Richard's "Lucille".
"Great Balls Of Fire" was no song Jerry had plucked from his reliquary, though; nor was it dashed off in one or two takes.
It was a conscious attempt to produce a hit record for the lucrative teen market, which Jerry Lee had just shown he was capable of penetrating.
The song had been pitched
first to Carl Perkins then Lewis as part of a deal in which they would appear in the movie "Jamboree". Then, in a move wholly untypical of Sam Phillips, he decided to forego the publishing on the flip side as well.