“The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis turns 77 today.
10 Notes On Jerry Lee Lewis
1. I can’t believe Jerry Lee Lewis made it to 77. A few years ago he put out an album titled “Last Man Standing” and of those great 50’s Sun Records artists, he is. Elvis, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins are all gone. Jerry Lee is “The Last Man Standing” At age 77 he might not get around that well but he is still a frightening figure. He’s always been about half crazy I think.
2. Jerry Lee is a cousin of both country singer Mickey Gilley and TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. When he was young his family mortgaged the house to buy him a piano. I would say that was a solid decision.
3. Jerry has been married seven times. The most infamous was to his first cousin one removed Myra Gale Brown in 1958. Jerry Lee was 22, Myra was 13 at the time. Their marriage lasted 13 years. Only one of his marriages lasted longer. This caused an uproar and Jerry Lee ended up getting blacklisted from the radio. One of the worst career moves ever made. Marriage #7 was in March of 2012.
4. When the powers that be turned their back on The Killer, he turned to country music, making his comeback in the late 1960’s in country music.
5.Jerry Lee Lewis went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the first group of inductees in 1986.
6. There has been a lot of tragedy in Jerry Lee’s life. In 1962 his 3 year old son Steve Allen Lewis died in a swimming pool accident. In 1973 his son Jerry Lee Lewis Jr, died at the age of 19 when he overturned his jeep. His 4th wife Jaren died a few weeks before their divorce could be finalized when she drowned in a swimming pool. His 5th marriage to his wife Shawn ended after 77 days when she died of a methodone overdose.
7. Jerry Lee Lewis’s biggest hits were “Great Balls Of Fire” which peaked at #2, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” whick peaked at #3 and “Breathless” which peaked at #7.
8. In 1989 there was a movie made on his life called “Great Balls of Fire” starring Dennis Quade. It was not a success. I knew it wasn’t going to break any box office records when the first day it was out my brother and I went to see it and we were the only ones in the theater.
9. The album to get if you are interested in Jerry Lee Lewis is “All Killer, No Filler. The Anthology”.. everything you’d want to hear from his career.
10. Jerry Lee Lewis- greatest piano player in rock and roll history.