The very first single of Rock N Roll Legend Jerry Lee! Original Version from SUN Singel.
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar off-mic on "Grazy Arms".
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Billy Riley - Guitar last note on "Crazy Arms"
In 1956 Ray Prize had a number one country hit and million-seller with "Crazy Arms" (Columbia 21510) produced by Don Law. The song, which was written by Ralph Mooney and Chuck Seals, peaked at number 27 on the Top 100 chart. Mooney wrote "Crazy Arms" after his wife temporarily left him because of his drinking. In 1963 Marion Worth had a number 18 country hit with his rendition (Columbia 42703). On this track Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis sang a few lines of "Crazy Arms" during this Million Dollar Quartet session on December 4, 1956. Just three days earlier, Sun Records released "Crazy Arms" as Lewis's first record (SUN 259).
"Crazy Arms" must have sounded decades old the moment it was released, for Ray Price spends the whole record on the edge of a pure Jimmie Rodgers yodel and the fiddles and steel guitar belong to another era, one in which Elvis and Little Richard are barely conceivable, much less standing at center stage. On the other hand, the concept of the pop star as a person on the edge of insanity has some of its most important roots in just this kind of country record, in which the singer confesses - and genuinely seems to feel - that his behaviour is a form of madness, that he has little or no control over what his body is going to do even though his mind (or at least, his conscious moral sense) urges him in a more godly (or at least sensible) direction. You tell me the difference in attitude between that posture and many random heavy metal band's.
It didn't take long for Jerry Lee and teenage drummer Jimmy Van Eaton is forge a musical alliance. They had it here, the first time they met and recorded. Exactly which titles were recorded and in what sequence is a matter of conjecture at this point. One thing we can be sure of is that by the time they reached ''Crazy Arms'', which became Jerry Lee's first Sun release, they were soaring together. There was nobody there to fill in the blanks: no bass, no guitar, no strings, no voices. Just Jerry and Jimmy, whose combined ages at this point didn't total 40 years.
Van Eaton is doing so much more than keeping time, it's almost comic. He's kicking and prodding, and providing drum rolls and counter-rhythm. It's like having Jerry Lee accompanied by a marching band. When Jerry launches into his 16-bar piano solo, J.M. follows suit and begins to solo on his drums. Much of what Van Eaton does here he would continue to do for the next seven years in the Sun studio, but never so much of it in such a compressed time and place. ''Crazy Arms'' runs under three minutes (2:45, to be exact) and there's enough drumming to fill a dozen records. The amazing this is neither of these young men knew exactly what they were doing. They were ''feeling each other out'' musically, taking risks, seeing if the other would follow.