22 May:
Jerry Lee Lewis’s Child Bride

When Jerry Lee Lewis landed at Heathrow Airport for his first UK tour on 22nd May, 1958, he was met with a flurry of journalists eager for a scoop. Yet just one question brought everything to a halt: “Who are you?”. 

A wide-eyed girl in Lewis’s entourage answered: Myra Gale Brown, his wife. But she was only 13 years old. As if this wasn’t scandal enough… she was also his cousin, and their marriage was bigamous. The press exploded with these revelations, turning what was meant to be a triumphant tour into a public relations disaster.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly pore over the disturbing details of Lewis’s tumultuous private life; consider whether he was on the path to equalling Elvis’s stardom in the UK, had this matter not come to light; and fruitlessly search the singer’s interviews for a later sense of contrition… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Myra Williams talks about marriage at age 13 to Jerry Lee Lewis’ (Los Angeles Times, 2022): https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-10-29/jerry-lee-lewis-myra-brown-williams-marriage-13-cousin

• ‘Inside The Disturbing Marriage Of Jerry Lee Lewis To His 13-Year-Old Cousin’ (All That’s Interesting, 2022): https://allthatsinteresting.com/myra-gale-brown-jerry-lee-lewis

• ’Jerry Lee Lewis Interview with 13 year old wife’ (1958):

CONTENT WARNING: domestic abuse, violence, child sexual abuse.