Jerry Lee Merritt Dead at Age 67
Jerry Lee Merritt died of heart failure Friday, May 4, 2001. He was 67. Besides Jerry's own fine music career, he spent time songwriting and touring with Gene Vincent in the late '50. Jerry had heart problems over the past few years and was just released from a hospital in Walla, Walla, Washington on Thursday.
He had moved from Camas, Washington to Dayton, Washington, purchasing a farm, and was busy making plans for the future when this tragedy hit him. Jerry was cremated. Jerry had three sons: Jerry Jr., Larry (a performer now living in Nashville), and Ed. He also had a daughter, Lee Ann from Joyce, and other step-children. His family will miss him deeply - and so will we!! God bless Jerry.
JERRY MERRITT TRIBUTE PAGE CREATED, ENTER HERE.
The name Jerry Lee Merritt is no stranger to the entertainment world. After being in show business since 1956 he can tell you about paying his dues in the music game.
Jerry has worked with many great names in the business, Some of the acts are Gene Vincent, Bobby Darin, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Ventures, Buddy Knox, Carl Perkins, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Tex Ritter, Jerry Wallace, Dick and Dee Dee, Graham Fenton, The Blue Caps, Billy Lee Riley, Johnny Cash, and many many more.
Jerry Lee Merritt has recorded on many record labels some of them are (Capitol Records) with Gene Vincent, (Tell International), (Smart,) (Lavender), (American,) (Scorpio,) (Furey,) and from Europe he has recorded two albums on (Magnum Force) records U.K., (Rock House) Holland, (Lautery Records) France, the European recordings are distributed world-wide. At this time Jerry has had over twenty L.P.'s, C.D.'s, and singles, released on these record companies. Some of the record companies are EMI, Capitol Records, London Records, Decca, Toshiba EMI, Tel-Dec, Top Line, Premiere Records, Charley, Challenge Records, Ever Green, Pollytune, B&S Records, etc.
Jerry received a gold album from Capitol Records for the song he wrote and recorded with Gene Vincent. His song "She She Little Sheila" held on the top charts international for 22 weeks, and is a standard in all of Europe to this day.
While touring Japan, Vincent and Merritt broke all theater records there in 1959. Jerry Lee Merritt also toured England, South Wales, France, Germany, and Holland in 1993. The concert tour lasted 31 days. Jerry was the headline act at the Nijmegen Holland festival that had over 8,000 people at the concert.
Jerry Lee Merritt plays six musical instruments, his main instrument being lead guitar. He also loves to do comedy, and loves to sing and play for people of all ages. Jerry likes to play rock-a-billy, country, blues, rock, pop, and even some classical music.
His song "Buffalo Grass" was one of the first country rock songs to hit the U.S. charts. Gene Vincent recorded four of Jerry's songs. They are: "Hurtin' For You Baby". "Born To Be A Rollin' Stone". "Searchin' For Green Grass", and "She She Little Sheila".
You may read some of the write-ups on Jerry in these magazines and books: "The Day The World Turned Blue", "Dance Halls Armories and Teen Fairs", "Ozark Mountainwood Express", "Now Dig This", "Gold Mine", "Blue Suede News", "Juke Box Magazine", "International Song Writer". Music Connection Magazine and many more.
BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL, 1966-67. "ASCAP Writer's Convention." Jerry was recording for American Records at the time in Hollywood, CA. Pictured: Manager Vito Moteola is standing next to Jerry. Seated are some song writers.
ALSO...The following text about Jerry is taken from the Official Gene Vincent/Blue Caps web site:
Lead Guitarist Jerry Lee Merritt. (photo: Adrian White 1993)
Jerry played on the August '59 Capitol Tower sessions which became the "Crazy Times" album, and wrote "She She Little Sheila" (which was a hit single in the UK). He then toured Japan with Gene in the first ever Rock 'N' Roll tour there, to great acclaim, during which tour Gene left for home, leaving Jerry to impersonate Gene for the remaining dates (the Japanese not being able to tell the difference presumably!). This is a true story, confirmed with him during the tour the photograph was taken on. He later wrote "Hurtin' For You Baby" & "Born To Be A Rollin' Stone" for Gene, recorded on the Challenge sessions, and played on the '68 demos, writing "Green Grass," that lead to John Peel (a famous English DJ) signing Gene to his Dandelion label, resulting in the "I'm Back And I'm Proud" album. Jerry was a big hit on the 1993 tour, where he opened for The Blue Caps. Merritt was also on 1996 mini California tour.
"AFTER CRAZY TIMES WITH GENE" CD released by Jerry in 1993. Material is from the 1960s. Rockhouse MIDCD 9215.
1. Walkin '- (Jerry Lee Merritt/Pat Mason) 1960
2. Kansas City Twist - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Pat Mason) 1960
3. Tulsa - (Jerry Lee Merritt) 1964
4. Hollywood & Vine - (Jerry Lee Mason/Pete Johnson) 1964
5. She She Little Sheila - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Whitty Pullen) 1959
6. L.A. - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Benedicte Locten) 1964
7. Hurtin' For You Baby - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Shirlee John) 1968
8. Born To Be A Rollin' Stone - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Hiram White) 1968
9. Jukebox Fever - (Jerry Lee Merritt) 1958
10. Buffalo Grass - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Prentice Beck) 1967
JERRY MERRITT and THE CROWNS EP
1. Tulsa - (Jerry Lee Merritt) 1964
2. L.A.- (Jerry Lee Merritt/Benedicte Locten) 1964
Recorded In Ramsey Recording Studio, In Phoenix, Arizona In 1965
Jerry Lee Merritt: Vocal/Lead Guitar
Steve Catt: Bass Guitar
Allen McLaughlin: Piano
Don Blair: Drums
1. Kansas City Twist - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Pat Mason) 1960
2. Walkin' - (Jerry Lee Merritt/Pat Mason) 1960
Recorded Live In Seaside, Oregon, At The Seaside Skating Ring In 1961
Jerry Lee Merritt: Vocal/Lead Guitar
Jim Burnette: Bass Guitar
Jack Burgerland: Piano
Don Cappa: Drums