Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll musician, who gained fame in the 1950s for his energetic performances and wild stage antics. He is also remembered for a scandal that shocked the world – his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown.
Lewis was born in 1935 in Louisiana, and began playing piano at a young age. He dropped out of school to pursue a career in music, and began playing in clubs and on the radio. In 1956, he released his first hit song, “Crazy Arms,” which reached number one on the country charts. This was followed by a string of hits, including “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire.”
However, in 1957, Lewis’s career was nearly derailed by his marriage to his young cousin. The marriage took place in Natchez, Mississippi, and was a huge scandal at the time. Lewis was criticized for his behavior, and many radio stations refused to play his music. His career suffered, and he was forced to cancel concerts and go into hiding.
Jerry Lee Lewis’ third marriage to his cousin, Myra Gale Brown, ended in 1970 after 13 years. The marriage was plagued with numerous scandals, including the revelation that they were first cousins, which caused public outrage.
Lewis also faced accusations of physical abuse and infidelity during the marriage, and Brown eventually filed for divorce citing extreme cruelty and habitual intemperance. The highly publicized divorce further damaged Lewis’ already tarnished reputation and career.
Earlier, his first marriage to Dorothy Barton ended in divorce in 1953, and his second marriage to Jane Mitchum ended in the 1957. The reason for the breakup of his marriages is not entirely clear, but there were rumors of infidelity on both sides.
Additionally, Lewis struggled with addiction and had numerous affairs during his marriages. These factors likely contributed to the eventual breakdown of his relationships. After divorcing Myra Gale Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis went on to marry four other women throughout his life.
Despite the controversy, Lewis continued to record and perform, and he remained a popular musician throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He married several more times, and had several children, but his personal life was often turbulent.
In the 1980s, Lewis experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to his appearance in the movie “Great Balls of Fire!” which starred Dennis Quaid as Lewis. He also collaborated with other musicians, including Jimmy Page and Willie Nelson.
However, Lewis’s personal life continued to be problematic. He struggled with addiction and health issues, and was involved in several scandals, including allegations of abuse and accusations of tax evasion.
Despite these challenges, Lewis continued to perform and record music well into his later years. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and received numerous other accolades for his contributions to music.
In conclusion, while Jerry Lee Lewis’s marriage to his young cousin was a scandalous and controversial moment in his life, it did not define him as an artist or a person. He continued to make music and entertain audiences for decades, despite the challenges he faced. He remains an important figure in the history of rock and roll, and his music continues to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans around the world.