Jerry Lee Lewis suffers stroke

Jerry Lee Lewis suffers stroke

March 14, 2019 Off By Virgilian
Jerry Lee Lewis, right, is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory on March 12, 1969.

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis, right, is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory on March 12, 1969.

Jimmy Ellis / The Tennessean

The show recreates the magical night of December 4, 1956 when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash found themselves jamming at Sam Phillip’s Sun Studios in Memphis.

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

The show recreates the magical night of December 4, 1956 when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash found themselves jamming at Sam Phillip’s Sun Studios in Memphis.

Contributed by Beverly S. Paris

Jerry Lee Lewis is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory March 12, 1969.

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory March 12, 1969.

Jimmy Ellis / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis, right, and his band is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory March 12, 1969.

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis, right, and his band is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory March 12, 1969.

Jimmy Ellis / The Tennessean

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

A “whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on” as Jerry Lee Lewis plays the piano during the 11th annual Grammy Award show at the National Guard Armory in Nashville March 12, 1969.

Jimmy Ellis / The Tennessean

LEFT to RIGHT:  Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and producer Chips Moman sing during the recording of the

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

LEFT to RIGHT: Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and producer Chips Moman sing during the recording of the “Class Of 55” on September 20, 1985. Moman recorded the reunion album using the four legnedary rock ‘n rollers that got their starts in Memphis. The face between Cash and Moman is lead guitar player Reggie Young. This scene took place at Moman’s old American Recording Studio on North Thomas.

Dave Darnell / The Commercial Appeal

Seen at a London press conference on May 24, 1958 are American Rock 'n' Roll singer Jerry Lee Lewis, 22, and his cousin, Myra Brown, 13, whom he took as his third wife before divorcing his second.  (AP Photo)

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Seen at a London press conference on May 24, 1958 are American Rock ‘n’ Roll singer Jerry Lee Lewis, 22, and his cousin, Myra Brown, 13, whom he took as his third wife before divorcing his second. (AP Photo)

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May 27, 1958 - Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Myra return from a rough stay in London on May 27, 1958.  The beleaguered Lewis arrived home tired and confused about the trouble caused by the revelation of his five-month marriage to London reporters. The rock and roll singer and his 13-year-old bride went to their home at 4752 Dianne to rest from their long trip to London. (Lloyd Dinkins/The Commercial Appeal files)

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

May 27, 1958 – Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Myra return from a rough stay in London on May 27, 1958. The beleaguered Lewis arrived home tired and confused about the trouble caused by the revelation of his five-month marriage to London reporters. The rock and roll singer and his 13-year-old bride went to their home at 4752 Dianne to rest from their long trip to London. (Lloyd Dinkins/The Commercial Appeal files)

Lloyd Dinkins, The Commercial Appeal

May 27, 1958 - The beleaguered Jerry Lee Lewis arrived home in Memphis tired and confused about the trouble caused by the revelation of his five-month marriage to London reporters. The rock and roll singer and his 13-year-old bride went to their home at 4752 Dianne to rest from their long trip to London. In 1996, Lewis spoke of Myra: ''I really felt sorry for her. She was a little girl didn't have a thing. She had one gingham dress she wore to school. I felt sorry for her and I liked her and I married her and it was an experience. We grew real close together. Whether you'd call it love, I don't know. I think it was love, and I backed it up and didn't hide it like Elvis did and take her up to his house for 13 years and then marry her.''  ( Lloyd Dinkins / The Commercial Appeal)

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

May 27, 1958 – The beleaguered Jerry Lee Lewis arrived home in Memphis tired and confused about the trouble caused by the revelation of his five-month marriage to London reporters. The rock and roll singer and his 13-year-old bride went to their home at 4752 Dianne to rest from their long trip to London. In 1996, Lewis spoke of Myra: ”I really felt sorry for her. She was a little girl didn’t have a thing. She had one gingham dress she wore to school. I felt sorry for her and I liked her and I married her and it was an experience. We grew real close together. Whether you’d call it love, I don’t know. I think it was love, and I backed it up and didn’t hide it like Elvis did and take her up to his house for 13 years and then marry her.” ( Lloyd Dinkins / The Commercial Appeal)

Lloyd Dinkins, The Commercial Appeal

Jerry Lee Lewis performs in 1968. (NEWS SENTINEL ARCHIVE)

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis performs in 1968. (NEWS SENTINEL ARCHIVE)

KNS Archive

Jerry Lee Lewis works on an album at the US Recording

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis works on an album at the US Recording Studios on Music Row Circle South on Nov. 23, 1977.

Dale Ernsberger / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis, ÒThe Killer,Ó is taking a break from

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis, “The Killer,” is taking a break from work on an album at the US Recording Studios on Music Row Circle South Nov. 23, 1977.

Dale Ernsberger / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis is fitted with a Mile-O-Dimes shirt by George Klein at Klein's 21st annual charity show on December 16, 1984. Lewis headlined the show after a two year absence.  The show, which was held in the Memphis Ballroom at The Peabody, also featured Dee Clark, the Diamonds and a guest appearance by Rufus Thomas.

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis is fitted with a Mile-O-Dimes shirt by George Klein at Klein’s 21st annual charity show on December 16, 1984. Lewis headlined the show after a two year absence. The show, which was held in the Memphis Ballroom at The Peabody, also featured Dee Clark, the Diamonds and a guest appearance by Rufus Thomas.

Jeff McAdory / The Commercial Appeal

A double dose of Killers, real and pretend: Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

A double dose of Killers, real and pretend: Jerry Lee Lewis and Dennis Quaid pose together to promote “Great Balls of Fire!”

Orion Pictures

Dec. 10
JERRY LEE LEWIS: 7:30 p.m. Schermerhorn Symphony Center, $59-$153

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Dec. 10
JERRY LEE LEWIS: 7:30 p.m. Schermerhorn Symphony Center, $59-$153

Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis will perform at the Peace Center Feb.

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis will perform at the Peace Center Feb. 16.

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Photo by Jim Weber: Rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis performs

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Photo by Jim Weber: Rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis performs on the NBA Rhythm ‘N Rims Stage during the Beale Street Music Festival Saturday at Tom Lee Park.

jim weber

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sept. 29, 1935.

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Jerry Lee Lewis performs at the tribute in his honor

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis performs at the tribute in his honor Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 at Skyville Live in Nashville, Tenn.

Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis listens to the peformances during his

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis listens to the peformances during his ribute Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 at Skyville Live in Nashville, Tenn.

Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis sits in the audience before the tribute

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis sits in the audience before the tribute to him Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 at Skyville Live in Nashville, Tenn.

Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean

Jerry Lee Lewis performs at Skyville Live in Nashville,

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis performs at Skyville Live in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.

Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com

Jerry Lee Lewis performs

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis performs “Great Balls of Fire” at the 2018 Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Thursday November 1 at the Cannon Center For The Performing Arts.


Ariel Cobbert, The Commercial Appeal

Jerry Lee Lewis is still burning up the piano at age 89. He plays the Sparks Nugget on Oct. 13, 2018.

Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis is still burning up the piano at age 89. He plays the Sparks Nugget on Oct. 13, 2018.

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Jerry Lee Lewis through the years

Jerry Lee Lewis, right, is performing for the crowd of 950 during the NARAS annual gala awards celebration for the Grammy at the National Guard Armory on March 12, 1969.

Jerry Lee Lewis, 83, suffered a minor stroke Thursday night, according to a statement from his representative Zach Farnum.

“He is with his family, recuperating in Memphis and the doctors expect a full recovery,” the statement read. “The Killer looks forward to getting back into the studio soon to record a gospel record and on the road performing live for his fans. His family requests privacy at this time. Well wishes and prayers are greatly appreciated.”

In a call with The Tennessean, Farnum added that Lewis wasn’t canceling any shows and that there is currently no reason to believe his next concert at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May wouldn’t continue as scheduled. 

“He’s a devout Christian,” Farnum said of Lewis. “We’re just asking for prayers and support and privacy.”

Although Lewis has scaled back his performing schedule in recent years, he has continued to play — making high-profile appearances at the Stagecoach country music festival in California in 2017 and at Chicago’s punk-rock concert event, Riot Fest, in 2018.

Last fall, Lewis made headlines as he returned to his former haunt, Memphis’ Sun Studio, with Rolling Stones’ singer Mick Jagger and millionaire producer/investor Steve Bing in tow. The trip was in connection with a planned movie adaptation of Peter Guralnick’s biography of Sun founder Sam Phillips, set to star Leonardo DiCaprio. 

The following month, Lewis made a brief, surprise appearance at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame ceremonies, playing “Great Balls of Fire.” In December, he rang in the New Year performing at the Beale Street nightclub, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe & Honky Tonk, that bears his name. 

Lewis’ most recent performance came Feb. 16 in Greenville, South Carolina. In addition to his upcoming Jazz & Heritage festival appearance, Lewis has a June show planned for Alexandria, Virginia, and a July date in Nashville at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. 

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The latest episode of the livestreaming concert series paid tribute to the music of Jerry Lee Lewis, a rock ‘n’ roll and country music icon whose recording career began six decades ago.
Kyleah Dunn, Julie Thanki / USA Today Network – Tennessee

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