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Story Archives: Delta Music Museum to induct Linda Gail Lewis
|Delta Music Museum to induct Linda Gail Lewis|
Linda Gail Lewis will be inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 28, just before performing a concert at the Natchez City Auditorium along with her cousin, Mickey Gilley.
"This means a lot to me," Lewis said. "This is very exciting. I haven't performed around Ferriday in years, so I'm looking forward to that."
Lewis performed for a while with her brother, Jerry Lee Lewis, before going out on her own and also performing with Stephen Ackles and Van Morrison.
She also has recorded with her two daughters MaryJean Ferguson, and Annie Marie Dolan in a group called The Lewis 3.
"I am very proud of my daughters," she said.
Lewis and Annie Marie Dolan will perform at 8:15 p.m. on April 28. At 9:15 p.m., Gilley will follow his cousin on the stage.
Lewis will be inducted into the Delta Music Hall of Fame at 8 p.m. Jerry Lee, Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart were the first three inductees into the Delta Music Hall of Fame in
"I'm really excited about working with Mickey," Lewis said. "This will be a first."
J.D. "Jim" Davis will be signing his book, "Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley before and after the concerts.
Linda Gail, who is married to former Stax promotions director Eddie Braddock, still talks in glowing terms of her brother, Jerry Lee.
Their first musical experiences were at The Ferriday First Assembly of God where Jerry and Linda sang, moving toward what would be their life long career in music.
"I've been in the music business my whole life," says Linda. "I went into Sun recording studio, in Memphis, with my brother for the first time when I was 12 years old and went out on the road with him when I was 14."
The impressionable Linda Gail idolized her brother and he returned her love with big brotherly concern.
"He protected me when we were out on the road. He wouldn't even let anyone cuss in front of me."
Linda Gail, who performs country, old rock and roll roots music and blues music, has been out of the country since Feb. 2, returning to the States on Monday.
She has a very large and loyal following in Europe.
"I started out on my brother's show, but my former sister-in-law (Kerrie McCarver) did not want me on the show anymore," Lewis said. "I'm very devoted to my brother. We had a top 10 hit on Billboard."
Jerry Lee and Linda Gail joined forces in the early 70's creating a duet album entitled, "Together", which launched a top 10 hit with their Mercury/smash single, Don't Let Me Cross Over, followed a few months later by a revival of Roll Over Beethoven. From there she went out on her own to pursue her own dreams and visions in an effort to step out of the shadow of her famed brother. At that time she scored a solo hit with Smile, Somebody Loves You.
"You know, having name recognition is a two sided- thing," she said. "It helps you get in the door, but once you're in, you have to blow people's minds or else they will not like you. If I was Jerry Lee's sister, I better be good."
Linda Gail also mentioned her sister, Frankie Jean Terrell of Ferriday.
"Frankie Jean has been so wonderful to me," she said. "At one time I didn't have much going for me, but she always believed in me."
Lewis performed on Beale Street in Memphis and found a number of Europeans attending her concerts.
"I thought I would always work with my brother, but when that became unrealistic I started a solo career in Memphis," Lewis said. "The United States is a very large country. I thought it would be easier to promote myself in a small country, so I went to the United Kingdom and Sweden. They are small, by very highly populated and I could get around to radio stations in a shorter amount of time than here. I had some wonderful gigs in America, just not as many."
Linda Gail is just as masterful on the piano as her brother.
"I always knew the basics," she said. "Unlike Jerry Lee and Mickey, I had to develop my piano playing. That wasn't easy in the beginning, but I stuck it out. I had a lot of people around Memphis help me. I learned a lot working with Van Morrison. I was 10 times better playing the piano after working a year with Van. I learned a lot of his songs. I've been very fortunate to work with some wonderful and nice people."
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