Photo: Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
BY LORIE LIEBIG
At the age of 81, Jerry Lee Lewis proved he still has plenty of fire left in him during Skyville Live’s tribute to his long and enduring career. Some of country music’s biggest names took the stage alongside him to perform covers of The Killer’s greatest hits.
Although his songbook is extensive, the tribute show was tightly packed into one hour. There were no lengthy speeches or video montages. Instead, they rolled through an impressive lineup of performances from artists who usually play massive venues. This time around, they played for an intimate audience that included Lewis himself, along with fans and music industry executives.
George Strait photo: Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
The room lit up when George Strait took the stage for a rollicking rendition of “Great Balls of Fire.” It kicked off a set that showcased both Lewis’ rock stylings and his country roots.
Lee Ann Womack. photo: Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
Ever soulful and pure, Lee Ann Womack’s vocals brought things to the next level with her take on “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous.”
Toby Keith, Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
Ever the showman, Toby Keith opted to tackle three Jerry Lee Lewis hits. He rolled through “Thirty Nine and Holding” and “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” before going all in with “Chantilly Lace.”
Kris Kristofferson, Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
Fellow musical legend Kris Kristofferson performed a lighthearted rendition of “Mean Old Man.”
Chris Stapleton, Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
It’s no surprise that Chris Stapleton earned a standing ovation. But his rendition of the gospel song “I’ll Follow Him,” accompanied by the McCrary Sisters, was a true goosebump-worthy moment.
Chris Stapleton, Toby Keith and Kris Kristofferson, Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
It all wrapped up with Lewis heading to the piano to perform his trademark hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” with the night’s guests as his backing band. Although he can’t get around as well as he used to, it was clear that his talents are charms were as strong as ever.
Jerry Lee Lewis, Lorie Liebig/Wide Open Country
“That was some of the best music I ever heard in my life,” he told the performers and crowd with a shaky voice. “I’ll never forget this.”
You can watch a replay of the entire Skyville Live stream here.