The Story Of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Seven Spouses Including A Minor
Rock n roll’s first great wild man, Jerry Lee Lewis, has undoubtedly found his place among the founders of rock music with the tremendous legacy he left behind. He was known for his charismatic yet outrageous persona on stage. During his performances, which can be described as ‘captivating’ in their simplest form, he had a boundless energy. He was a virtuoso on the piano, but stepping on top of the instrument, even setting it on fire, introduced a completely different spirit to the music scene.
The rock and roll spirit, which many believe he invented and encouraged, did not only seep into his attitude on the stage but also into his private life. Like his performances, his personal life was also quite controversial and resonating. With his drug and alcohol addiction and seven marriages, the father of rock certainly deserved the ‘great wild man’ description. One of these marriages almost ended his career, but this did not stop the musician.
Jerry Lee Lewis’ Early Years And First Three Marriages
Jerry Lee Lewis was born into an impoverished family but a nonetheless supportive one. His passion and talent for music emerged at a very early age, and instead of dismissing it, his father mortgaged their house and bought him a piano. So began the musical journey that would become a vital bearing point in the history of music. At 15, he had already found a tone for himself, influenced by the musicians he had listened to in local clubs and Elvis Presley. A fast private life accompanied this fast-paced musical journey.
He got married for the first time in 1952, at 16, to Dorothy Barton, but this marriage would not even last two years. When we say a fast-paced private life, we mean it because he married Jane Mitchum before his divorce was finalized with Barton. Although its legitimacy was questioned, he was married to her for a little longer, about four years, and they had children. The most controversial marriage, however, would be the next.
As a promising rockabilly in the mid-1950s, Lewis continued to walk on the music path after making a rapid entrance. As the ’60s, the golden age of rock music approached, he had already released ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,’ ‘Breathless,’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire,’ three of the most fundamental cornerstones of the emergence of rock music. At the height of his career, he took a step in his private life that nearly knocked him from top to bottom.
His subsequent marriage would be to his cousin. On top of that, Myra Williams was just 13 years old at the time. While his most scandalous, sexual, and idiosyncratic performances on stage were new, he was well-received by the public and even loved when combined with his natural talent for music. However, this decision regarding his private life was the last straw and started a big boycott against him. However, the backlash did not stop him; he continued to play wherever he could find it. Even though his career was on shaky ground, he would recover from this.
The Rock Star Returned After The Boycotts
Lewis made a hit song again in the early ’60s, but he was still not entirely greeted by the public. His marriage to Myra lasted until the early 1970s. This eventful marriage became even more scandalous when Myra revealed that she had suffered unimaginable physical and mental violence.
A year later, Lewis married Jaren Elizabeth Gunn Pate. During these years, in the ’70s, he also changed his musical focus, and the things he tried were successful. In 1982, about ten years later, before the divorce proceedings were over, Pate drowned in a pool. His subsequent marriage would also end tragically, as Shawn Stephens was found dead in the house just two months after they married.
After this point, a relatively settled-down life for ‘The Killer’ began, both musically and romantically. His marriage to Kerrie McCarver lasted 21 years until 2005. Around the time of his second-to-last marriage, in 1986, the rock icon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his contribution to the genre was now widely accepted, even described as the father of the genre.
Finally, he married Judith Brown, who would be by his side until the day he died at home. During his last two marriages, Lewis, who was as restless and wild rockabilly in his teens, was also gone. He was making music more sporadically, but he never quit performing. This life, woven with music, captivating stage shows, great piano tunes, debt, and a fast-paced romantic life, came to an end on October 28, 2022, at the end of last month. No matter what ‘The Killer’ did in his private life, he definitely left a mark in music and rock history.