Jerry Lee Lewis is considered one of the pioneers of rock n roll. In 1957, he came onto the music scene with his first big hit “Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On”. He was nicknamed “the Killer” and was amazing on the piano. With Elvis Presley heading for a stint in the Army—it was pretty much agreed upon by rock journalists that Jerry Lee Lewis would become the new king of rock.
In 1958 he was on his first international tour when it was discovered the 22-year-old Killer was married to his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown. This would be his third wife and he was not technically divorced from his second wife at the time.
This would essentially destroy his career for a while but in the 60s & 70s, he made a big comeback as a country music artist.
He was inducted in the rock and roll hall of fame the first year they gave out the awards.
In 1989 his life story was told in a very strange movie called Great Balls of Fire starring Dennis Quaid as Lewis.
Aged 84 and still kicking—Jerry Lee Lewis is married to his 7th wife. Two of his past wives died under strange circumstances and he has a reputation for being a stubborn, gun-toting, drug-taking nightmare which makes him the perfect for our show. So, let’s get started!
We put this episode together with a little help from our friends at:
- The Guardian (2015 by Simon Hattenstone)
- Rolling Stone Magazine (1984 by Richard Ben Cramer)
- Grunge (2020 by Brian Boone)
- People magazine (1978 by Jim Jerome)
- The Village Voice (1987) (By Nick Tosches)
- GQ (2014 by Chris Heath)
- 20/20 (TV segment 1984)
- “People Are Talking” 1989 interview with Myra Lewis
- The Spark That Survived by Myra Lewis Williams
- Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg
- Once Upon a Crime podcast ep 154 (Esther Ludlow & Special Guest Erica Kelly of “Southern Fried True Crime” podcast)
- Jerry Lee Lewis Wikipedia