The Ballad of Jerry Lee Lewis's 13-Year-Old Wife



His cousin, too.

Sounds like all 7 (count’em!) of his marriages had their little quirks.

1 Like

Eh, Kind of disappointing. From the description, and even the lead up in the first few paragraphs, I was expecting a lengthier piece with something closer to a narrative account from her perspective. Possibly even from the lead up to the marriage, through it’s latter stages. I’d think her perspective on what happened, how it happened, and how she felt about it, the whole sequence of events, then and now would be some fascinating reading. I mean, not just the reaction to them specifically as this piece focuses on, but the whole relationship.

Oh well. Still an interesting read, even if not what could have been.

1 Like

The man was just born before his time: his life would have been a made-for-exploitative-reality-TV wonder. I imagine they could have gotten a dozen shitty shows out of him!


I moved 5 posts to a new topic: Improper hypen usage

The fifties were a more innocent time, when it was just fine to marry innocent children.

1 Like

Worked for Elvis too!

“Hellfire,” by Nick Tosches, tells this story — and all the other insane Jerry Lee stories — really well.

Tosches’ non-fiction books are all terrific. Along with this one, his books on Sonny Liston and Dean Martin are great, as is “Where Dead Voices Gather” about the forgotten but fascinating Emmett Miller. And then there’s “The Last Opium Den”… In fact, anything Tosches has ever published is worth a read.

At least he didn’t adopt her first, right Nugent?


Or Woody Allen. (Yeah, yeah, he never legally adopted her.)

FIFY: “The fifties were a more innocent time, when it was just fine to marry your innocent child cousin.”

I’m honestly not sure which sqwicks me out more, the fact that he married a 13 year old, or the fact that he married his first cousin (who he presumably knew as a baby when he was 9).

13 trumps cousin. Being too young to give informed consent is way worse than, say, two adult relatives deciding to fuck.


Good point, but the cousin-fuckery still super creeps me out. Maybe it’s because I basically grew up with my first cousins, but it’d be like marrying your sister IMHO.

Im no Rabbi, but…


"Soon I discovered that this Rock thing was true. Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil. "
Ministry - Al Jourgensen et al


Eh, different cultures define “cousin” differently. Sometimes it only means being from the same tribe. It might mean you share one grandparent, or perhaps two parents, or maybe my parents are my wife’s grandparents. Who am I to judge?

Once removed, if it makes it less squicky (not really).

Thanks for pointing out the once removed.

% identical DNA segments:
Full siblings: 50%
Half siblings or double first cousins: 25%
First cousins: 12.5%
First cousins once removed: 6.25%
Second cousins: 3.125%
Third cousins: 0.781%

You can see how fast the drop-off occurs. This is why most populations set second cousins as the MINIMUM (maximum?) marriage connection for genetic inheritance reasons.

In related news, a BBC documentary is coming out soon showing that King Tut’s anomalous features were not due to a chariot crash, and that in fact he wouldn’t have been able to ride a chariot at all thanks to multiple deformities due to the practice of brother-sister marriages in the royal family.

(edited because “minimum” wasn’t sitting right with me)

1 Like

Mod note: Stay-on-topic

1 Like