As most everyone knows people who become famous often think they can do almost anything and people will forgive them for it. That unfortunately is not the case as rock and roll singer Jerry Lee Lewis discovered on May 22, 1958. He was going to the United Kingdom to perform for his fans there for the first time.
His two biggest hits in the U.K. were “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire”. It was beginning to look like this was going to be the biggest tour yet by an American rock-and-roll singer. What the British didn’t know was that Jerry Lee “The Killer” Lewis had gotten married and to make matters worse he had married a “child bride” and had her along with him.
Well, things were about to take a turn for the worst. When he arrived at Heathrow Airport Myra Gail Lewis introduced herself as his wife. Next came the unraveling of the scandal that was to follow. It was Lewis’s third marriage and this time he had chosen to marry his first cousin once removed and she was only thirteen years old. The story only got worse. They had gotten married five months before his divorce from this second wife was made official.
Once all of this came out the following week the press went after Jerry Lee and Myra. As a result, his first three shows weren’t well attended and the fans who had bought tickets peppered him with catcalls and boos. It was at this point that the rest of the theaters where he was to perform canceled his dates and the upscale Mayfair Hotel at which he was staying told him to go elsewhere. Jerry Lee Lewis returned to the states much earlier than he was supposed to. Upon returning he discovered that he had been blacklisted and it did great damage to his career.
So no matter how famous you become you still must consider your actions every step of the way.
Some notes from the Internet. His cousin is now known as Myra Lewis Williams and is an American author and 76 years old. She has a life with someone else.
Jerry Lee Lewis is a young 85 years old today.
During the time they were married, they had two children Steve Allen Lewis who tragically drowned at the age of three, and Phoebe Allen Lewis-Loflin who became her father’s manager and lived at his ranch in Mississippi until his marriage to Judith Brown.