Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Jerry Lee Lewis

A decade ago I saw a terrific show on Broadway ("Million Dollar Quartet") about the true story of a 1956 jam-session at Sun Records by four musical giants: Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. Last week I took Robin to see it again at a local theater in Northport. The productions were both magical.

Of these four musicians, do you know if any are still alive? You probably know Elvis died at 42 and Johnny moved on at age 71. You probably don't know that Carl died at 65. Did you know that Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive? He's 84 and still a character.

Jerry Lee led a wild life. After a meteoric rise, his career crashed when it was revealed he'd married his 13-year old first cousin Myra when he was 22 years old. Amazingly, she was his THIRD wife. He married twice earlier and neither divorce was settled before he moved on to the next one. Since then, Jerry Lee married four more times, for a total of seven wives.

My favorite Jerry Lee story is when he got busted in 1976. It was 3:00 in the morning, he was drunk and somebody lent him a gun. So what does he do? He drives over to Graceland, accidentally crashes through the gate and demands to talk to Elvis. Elvis refuses to see him and calls the cops. Probably a wise move since Jerry Lee had a history of violence and once came close to killing his bass player.

It's probably also not a surprise that Jerry Lee had IRS troubles. He owed the government over $2 Million and they seized all his assets (including five motorcycles). As I said, he is a character. I'm amazed he's still alive.


  1. That sounds like a fun show! I love musicals. I did not know Jerry Lee Lewis was still alive! I remember "Great Balls of Fire", the movie about his love affair with his cousin (played by Winona Ryder).

    1. The show is touring: catch it if it comes close.

  2. A few years back we saw a production of the show.
    It was great. Truly four giants.
    Each one was special but different.
    The music had a lot of staying power. I was only 4 in 1956.

  3. That sounds like a great show!! Uhm. I had no idea that Jerry Lee was still alive and yea—what a crazy life he’s led, eh??

  4. To say that Mr. Lewis is quite the wild character would be a serious understatement! 😄

    I've heard and read quite a bit about him over the years (plenty of it eyebrow raising), but one of the more charming things that stood out is that he had/has a piano shaped swimming pool (much like Sinatra and Liberace both did) at one of his homes.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life