sides on Sun records. But unknown to most, before Jerry walked into the Sun records Studio, he spent a little time in a radio studio.
In 1949, Jerry Lee made his first musical performance for the public. He was only 14 years old. At a Ford dealership in his home town of Ferriday Louisiana he played a set with a country band. Some accounts note his father playing in the band. This seems likely at that age, They made $13. that was probably not enough to compel him towards his future life of a touring rock n' roll pianist. It was probably his time at WNAT-AM. Sometimes accounts give the call letters at WANT-AM. The book Blues and Chaos for example. The book is wrong on at least one count and quite probably two. The year is somewhat in question.
Jerry had a 20-minute show there, in Natchez, Mississippi. he certainly made better money playing at the Hilltop Club, and the Blue Cat Night Club, both also in Natchez. In 1951 he visited New Orleans and with his childhood friend and tour manager Cecil Harrelson he recorded his first song on a wax record.These included an untitled instrumental and and a pop song titled "Don´t Stay Away Till Love Grows Cold" which was a Lefty Frizzell cover tune. He was moving away from radio and towards the stage.
In the Fall of 1954 he auditioned for the Louisiana Hayride by recording two acetate discs at KWKH but was ultimately rebuffed. (These discs survive.) Slim Whitman was in charge of the Louisiana Hayride in that day as he had been since 1950 and he didn't like Jerry's brand of honky-tonk. On November 14th of 1956 he had his frist recording session with Sam Phillips. As a result, he became a session man for Sun initially as a day job. But then WHBQ began playing his first single a cover of "Crazy Arms" by Ray Price. In 1957 "Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On" broke everywhere.