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500 Greatest Songs of All Time

96

Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Great Balls of Fire'


Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Great Balls of Fire'
96/500

Writers: Otis Blackwell, Jack Hammer
Producer: Sam Phillips
Released: Nov. '57, Sun
21 weeks; No. 2

With Lewis pounding the piano and leering, "Great Balls of Fire" was full of Southern Baptist hellfire turned into a near-blasphemous ode to pure lust. Lewis, a Bible-college dropout and cousin to Jimmy Swaggart, refused to sing it at first and got into a theological argument with Phillips that concluded with Lewis asking, "How can the devil save souls?" But as the session wore on and the liquor kept flowing, Lewis' mood changed considerably — on bootleg tapes he can be heard saying, "I would like to eat a little pussy if I had some." Goodness gracious, great balls of fire, indeed.

Appears on: Original Sun Greatest Hits (Rhino) 

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