The year was 1958, and the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, had just been drafted into the Army of the United States of America, where he was just a regular soldier.
And for Jerry ‘The Killer’ Lee Lewis, the first in line to succeed him to his royal title, this meant one thing: it was his turn to occupy the first place in the billboards and the annals of musical history.
But one thing stood in the way of Lewis: his marriage to Myra Gale Brown, the daughter of his cousin (making her his first cousin once removed), and who was 13 years old at the time.
In the end, it would be what would prevent him permanently from pursuing a career in rock music altogether.
Though he would eventually stage an astonishing comeback in country music, having left his rocker past behind, Lewis and Brown are still the subjects of commentary and shock.
Hop along; we reviewed ten facts about the marriage that prevented a new King of Rock’s ascension.
10 Who Was Myra Brown?
The girl who would become Jerry Lee’s wife was at first just the daughter of his first cousin, J.W. Brown, who played electric bass in Lee’s concerts and appearances.
They had met in 1956 (that is when she was just twelve years old) as Lewis moved into the Brown home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Having been turned down by other companies around the country, Lewis was looking to audition for the local music label Sun Records.
9 A Rushed Wedding
Even though what happened in between has not been registered in history, the fact was that by December of 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis was marrying Myra Gale Brown, half a year before her fourteenth birthday. Jerry was twenty-two.
But it was not only an early wedding quite literally, in terms of the bride’s age: Lewis was also not yet entirely divorced from his second wife, Jane Mitchum, whom he had even married before finishing up the divorce with his first wife, Dorothy Barton. This would later create additional troubles for the (unequally) young couple.