When Shields rocker met Jerry Lee Lewis

Yesterday former record shop owner and rock 'n roll-loving teddy boy, Stewart Campbell came forward to identify himself as the jiving dancer in last week's Time Of Our Lives' picture spread.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 9th February 2016, 9:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th February 2016, 12:27 pm
Jerry Lee Lewis' ranch.
Jerry Lee Lewis' ranch.

In doing so, he revealed some interesting facts about himself – one of which was that he used to own the Second Time Around record shop, in Boldon Lane, South Shields (do you remember it? What records did you buy there? Do you still have them?)

He also told us that he was in the town’s Latino nightclub, the day that Jerry Lee Lewis (who just happens to be his favourite musician) was performing there.

I asked Stewart to describe the performance, which he did in one word ... “phenomenal!”

“I was there that night,” says Stewart.

“When he finished playing at the Latino, he went on to play another set at either the Mayfair, in Newcastle, or La Strada, in Sunderland.

“He was phenomenal. I have seen him quite a few times.”

One of those occasions was in the United States, when he met the rock ’n roller (whose nickname is The Killer) in person after going to visit him at his house.

It was an unforgettable occasion, as the 76-year-old DJ recalls.

“A friend of mine won an Elvis look-alike contest, and had the opportunity to go to America.

“I went with him to Miami, and we were introduced to a guy who played with Johnny Burnette, and we stayed with him for a week.”

By the way, Burnette’s single Dreamin’/Cincinnati Fireball, released on May 4, 1960, reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number five in Britain. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

His next single You’re Sixteen/I Beg Your Pardon, released five months later, did even better, reaching number eight on the Hot 100 and number three in Britain, and earned him another gold record.

Anyway, back in the United States, where Stewart’s well-connected contact was busily showing them the sights – and the stars.

“During that time he took us to Elvis’ ranch.

“On another occasion we were passing Jerry Lee Lewis’ house, in Mississippi, and he said we would go and see him, and we drove to his ranch.

“His bodyguard came out and said he was getting a shower, but if we wanted, we could go to a nearby airport, about an hour later, and we could meet him there.

“So we did, and Jerry Lee Lewis arrived in his Cadillac.

“He apologised for not being able to entertain us, but was about to fly to Memphis.

“He was absolutely wonderful, very apologetic, saying he had really wanted to entertain us.”

Stewart has also met a number of other famous musicians, including Carl Perkins.

Many people will remember Stewart from the days when he ran Second Time Around.

After closing the shop in 1985, he joined Crawfords Bakery (United Biscuits), in Newcastle Road, as a trainee manager in the bakery.

He then worked for MI Dicksons for many years.

l Watch out for more rock ’n roll memories, including how Butlins inspired the revival of a 50s night in South Tyneside and what it was like being a teddy boy.