Jerry Lee Lewis
T Bone Burnett's plea: The piper must be paid
T Bone Burnett's plea: The piper must be paid

Music opened my life to an array of experiences. I remember New York's Washington Square Park in the 1960s as a laboratory alive with musicians playing folk, old-time country, jazz and everything in between. The creativity in that one small space was vibrant and passionate. The artists there changed us, just as Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison did from Memphis, Tenn., a decade earlier. A circle of talented innovators with the courage to explore new things — be they topics or techniques — reshaped our culture and the world. Melodies, the accompanying lyrics and the way artists and musicians bring them together have the ability to...