Jerry Lee Lewis gained notoriety in the late 1950s with his piano pounding style of rock and roll that brought America classic songs like "Great Balls of Fire." Lewis' style is known for changing the face of American music, and a Lewis' themed birthday party should be just as legendary. Fortunately there's a lot to work with, beginning with a little dance music and amazing food.
The party won't be Jerry Lee Lewis if you don't get your boogie on. Load up a playlist with all of Lewis' classics, like "Whole Lotta Shakin'" and "Crazy Arms." Fill it out with other Sun Records stars, like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jimmie Rodgers. Push the furniture back and encourage guests to get down.
The food makes the party, and if the theme is Jerry Lee Lewis, then you're talking down-home cooking, Memphis style, circa 1957. Luckily, that's easy. Memphis is known for it's smoky-sweet barbecue, so try a modern, party-friendly spin on a classic by piling pulled pork on slider buns and topping with a bit of creamy cole slaw and dill pickles. Make it "Jerry Style" with a bit of hot sauce and keep the mess off the floor by wrapping the sandwiches in wax paper. On the side, try individual servings of more cole slaw, baked beans and thick-cut potato chips.
A birthday calls for cake, and you can go a few directions here. Do a classic sheet cake, preferably in chocolate. Anything works, as long as it's big, gooey and came out of a box -- just like your 1950s mama might have made. Or, go a bit upscale -- consider a piano-shaped cake or one decorated with a keyboard and the Sun Records logo.
Jerry's a teetotaler these days -- grape soda is rumored to be a favorite choice -- but back in the day, American-style pilsner beer was the drink of choice. Keep it simple with classic American ales, go modern with a microbrew or go retro with a selection of beers and sodas that were popular in the late '50s and early '60s. Many grocery stores carry these classic beverages, and they'll add a great retro spin on your party.
Use pianos, vinyl records and the Sun Records logo in your decorating. It's easy to find serving pieces and partyware with a rock 'n' roll theme at your local party store and online. Put out bowls of cereal snack mix -- a popular 1950s party treat -- and fiery cinnamon jawbreakers (to represent "Great Balls of Fire") for guests to nibble on as they mingle.
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