They told him they never talked to Jerry Lee. It was Lottie who tried to let them in, when she drove up at about As she fiddled with her key in the lock, the Killer opened the door from within. Lottie went to the master bedroom to wake Shawn. What did Lottie find in the bedroom?
And what was going on in the house while the drapers were stuck outside? The girls ran out to the house across Malone Road and begged the neighbors to take them to Memphis. Did Shawn also try to escape? For example, the married couple who rode the girls back to Memphis tried to deny the incident when a couple of reporters showed up at their door. A night before Shawn died, Jerry Lee was spotted sitting alone in his Cadillac, stuck in a ditch off the exit ramp of the freeway leading to Memphis.
When Jerry Lee was taken home and his car was towed from the ditch, the deputies forgot to administer a test for intoxication. She was in midsentence when the phone went dead. And certainly, evidence was altered. Broken glass was still on the floor, but the big pieces had been removed.
Who tried to clean her up? Who reclothed her in the negligee? How did she get to the guest bedroom? Who stripped the sheets and pillowcases in the master bedroom? Lottie Jackson stripped those sheets. Shortly after he took control of the scene, McCauley found her locked in the master bedroom.
Lottie finally came to the door, and McCauley saw the cleanup in progress. If Shawn went to bed after a quiet night, how did she get dirty? If he laid her atop the guest bed when he could carry her and shake her no longer, how did she get under the covers?
Why did he say he sent Lottie there to wake her? And sometimes, the why just lingers sometimes. But now he had a ten-page report from Francisco. He had his cause of death. The last thing I want to do is have anybody think I was putting a lid on this thing.
T he grand jury met for about three hours. The only witnesses were McCauley, Clark and Francisco. The only witness to comment was Francisco, who brushed past reporters on the way out, after forty-five minutes in the jury room — the entire afternoon session. Francisco was asked to characterize his testimony. Michael Blake, the Detroit lawyer, came down to witness the jury process.
The Killer already had a half-million dollars in judgments against him, and none of the plaintiffs could collect. Blake did get from Ballard a copy of the autopsy, which he showed to a medical examiner back in Detroit. It could be caused by a drug overdose, or it could be caused by drowning, strangulation, suffocation, asphyxiation, by trauma to the head or other parts of the body. There is no mention of the bruises on her arm and hip. There is no mention of the condition of her fingernails, nor analysis of the blood that appeared to be clotted beneath them.
There is no mention of any residue of the tablets that Shawn is supposed to have taken. Did Shawn gulp twenty to forty pills? And was there nothing left of them?
Could it be lake water or swimming-pool water gulped in extremis? Impossible to know now. Could it be just a big dinner, or liquid that she drank herself? Once again, hard to say. But methadone hits the bloodstream within a half-hour of oral ingestion.
It peaks at four hours. How could Shawn eat a big meal when she should have been already comatose? Or did the methadone enter her body with the meal? It would be soluble in liquids. Once again, impossible to know. There was a tray of food remains visible in the master bedroom, but collection and analysis of the food seems to have been neglected. There was at least one hypodermic picked up at the house that day.
Sowell refused to discuss any aspect of the case although in a carefully worded leak to the Commercial Appeal , Sowell admitted that the private, out-of-state autopsy was illegal. And Francisco refused repeated calls for more information about his report. Ballard refused to release investigative reports. He said no record of testimony was taken. The witnesses and jurors were sworn to silence. There was still no indication of foul play. Ballard came forward at his desk.
His words grew more pronounced and even rose a notch in volume. And whether I know what happened in the last twelve hours or the last two days before the death of Shawn Lewis, there is. It was four days after the grand-jury session. They convened at about nine — record producers and independent truckers, ex-girlfriends of singers, Memphis matrons and off-duty cops, all bunching up at the door, flashing their printed invitations at a big black man in leather, whose eyes drifted unhurriedly from their faces, over their clothes to their shoes, with a detour toward the left armpit for men who might be packing guns.
Inside, the best tables went fast, staked out with bourbon bottles clumped in the center of the tablecloths.
Late arrivals had to stand along the walls, leaning against the jukebox or the poker machines. The men did a lot of back-pounding.
Their women stood by, posing. A campaign button on his lapel showed him in a smile and a suit, and advertised his name and lever. Owner Kenny Rodgers slid through the swelling crowd.
The noise from the crowd barely diminished as an inaudible introduction gave way to a wobbly country song by Webb Pierce, another Louisiana hell-raiser who was singing hits while Jerry Lee Lewis was learning to shave in Ferriday. Now nearly sixty, a drinker, thirty years past his prime, Pierce finished his song, and the crowd gave him a big hand for who he used to be.
Pierce bowed and beamed like they meant it. And then he was there! Therre is. They had a long table for him, set up to one side of the dance floor: a pile of gifts and a forest of bottles. Jerry drank from a glass of whiskey. Everybody tried to crowd around to the back of the table, to shake his hand, kiss him or whisper something.
She whispered something and he answered, and she worked her way back through the crowd, beaming. There was Blondie on his right and a lovely Italianate brunette on the other side. There were a half-dozen other young women ringing the table. They took turns pouring or talking for him, if no one had his ear. Jerry Lee looked, without change of expression, from one to the other, as if they were so many TV sets. The Instamatic flashes etched cruel skeletal shadows on his sagging face.
The flesh seemed to have worn away with the millions of miles, millions of photos, millions of whispers. His eyes stared, flat black spots, unmoving, unblinking, giving out nothing.
Now the Killer reached over toward the pile of gifts, lifted a gold paper crown and put it on his head. The flashes started popping off like crazy. The King was all bones and coal eyes under the shiny gold headband. The girls at the table all threw their heads back, threw their faces into bright young smiles. Oh, Jerry! Oh, Killer! Whitten said, looking on in approval, hovering at a corner of the dance floor.
She was wiping lipstick off him. He was holding up a hand, smiling, acknowledging cheers. You know the grand-jury vote? Sure I got it. And you can quote me on that. Newswire Powered by. Close the menu. Rolling Stone. Log In. To help keep your account secure, please log-in again.
You are no longer onsite at your organization. Please log in. For assistance, contact your corporate administrator. Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Receiving positive reviews, the album charted in four different Billboard charts, including a two-week stay at number one on the Indie charts. Last Man Standing is Lewis's best selling album of all time.
Lewis now lives on a ranch in Nesbit, Mississippi , with his family. In October , as part of a successful European tour, Lewis returned to the UK, 50 years after his ill-fated first tour.
It was written by Kris Kristofferson. An EP featuring this song and four more was also released on November In March , it was announced that Lewis, together with producer T-Bone Burnett, was recording a new album of gospel covers. It was the first time he entered a recording studio following his stroke. Along with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison, Lewis received first Grammy Award in the spoken-word category for the very rare album of interviews released with some early copies of the Class of '55 album in In June , Lewis was honored for his contribution to the recording industry with a star along Hollywood Boulevard on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Fourteen [ clarification needed ] reached the number-1 position. He has had ten official gold discs, the latest being for the album Last Man Standing , plus unofficial ones issued by his record company Mercury for albums which sold over a quarter of a million copies. His duets CD Last Man Standing has sold over half a million worldwide, his biggest-selling album ever.
Lewis is also among the Top 50 all-time Billboard Country artists. Lewis was present to accept the American Music Masters Award and closed his own tribute show with a rendition of " Over the Rainbow ". In December , Lewis was honored with a Mississippi Country Music Trail marker at his ranch in Nesbit, Mississippi to celebrate his contributions to country music.
Lewis is widely hailed as one of the most influential pianists in the history of rock and roll. In a interview with Leah Harper, Elton John recalls that up until "Great Balls of Fire," "the piano playing that I had heard had been more sedate.
My dad collected George Shearing records, but this was the first time I heard someone beat the shit out of a piano. This was astonishing to me, that people could do that. Those records had such a huge effect on me, and they were just so great. I learned to play like that. Appearing on Memphis Sounds with George Klein in , Lewis credited his older piano-playing cousin Carl McVoy as being a crucial influence, stating, "He was a great piano player, a great singer, and a nice looking man, carried himself real well.
I miss Carl very much. Although Lewis's piano playing is commonly labeled boogie woogie, gospel music was another major influence in the formation of his technique. In Joe Bonomo's book Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found , Memphis producer and musician Jim Dickinson calls Lewis's occasional penchant for interrupting the standard boogie woogie left-hand progression by omitting the seventh and repeating the fifth and sixth, creating a repetitive, driving, quasi-menacing momentum, "revolutionary, almost inexplicable.
Maybe Ella Mae Morse , maybe Moon Mullican had done it, but not in a way that became the propelling force of the song. None of them were doing that. Even Little Richard, as primitive as he plays, wasn't doing that shuffle There was something in Jerry Lee that didn't want to play that seventh, and that's the church.
Certainly in white spiritual music you avoid sevenths. Lewis has been married seven times. When he was 16 he married Dorothy Barton, daughter of a preacher. His second marriage in September , to Jane Mitchum, was of dubious validity because it occurred 23 days before his divorce from Barton was final.
After four years, Lewis filed for divorce in October The couple had two children: Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. His third marriage was to year-old Myra Gale Brown , his first cousin once removed , on December 12, Pate drowned in a swimming pool at the home of a friend with whom she was staying, several weeks before divorce proceedings could be finalized. Mary Kathy 'K. His fifth marriage, to Shawn Stephens, lasted 77 days, from June to August , ending with her death. In , Lewis moved to Ireland with his family in what was suggested but denied to be a move to avoid issues with the Internal Revenue Service.
In April , U. District Judge Neal Biggers ruled that most of claims were barred by a three-year statute of limitations with the exception of the defamation claims.
As a teenager, Lewis studied at the Southwest Bible Institute in Waxahachie, Texas before being thrown out for daring to play a boogie-woogie version of "My God Is Real", and that early incident foreshadowed his lifelong conflict over his faith in God and his love of playing "the devil's music".
Lewis had a recorded argument with Sam Phillips during the recording session for " Great Balls of Fire ", a song he initially refused to record because he considered it blasphemous "How can… How can the devil save souls? What are you talkin' about? Lewis's biographer Rick Bragg explains that part of the reason the recording only features Lewis and Elvis singing is because "only Elvis and Jerry Lee [were] raised in the Assembly of God ", and " 'Johnny and Carl didn't really know the words… they was Baptists ', [Lewis] said, and therefore deprived.
No word of religion is even in the Bible. Are you sanctified? It was also broadcast…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.
Additional Reading. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Of course, at age 82, the singer is still living up to the mystique that he has created with an image that is larger than life. If all you know about Jerry Lee Lewis are the tales of his marriages and legal escapades over the years, you need to educate yourself on the Jerry Lee Lewis song catalog.
In , the singer signed a deal with Smash Records, and began working with renowned producer. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists.
Streams Videos All Posts. Drinking Partying. Track Listing. End of the Road Sun Jerry Lee Lewis. Crazy Arms Sun Born to Lose.
Mickey Gilley grew up just across the Mississippi from his cousins Lewis and Swaggart, but they played together often, singing Gospel and country music and teaching each other piano styles. No transpositions available. Rolling Stone Issue He just asked where to sign. An EP featuring this song and four more was also released on November The Instamatic flashes etched cruel skeletal shadows on his sagging face. B ill Ballard was in his office when he got the call from Sheriff Sowell, about two hours after Shawn was found. Archived from the original on September 10, End Of The Road - Jerry Lee Lewis - Stardate With Jerry Lee Lewis (Vinyl I miss Carl very much.
The Man And The Birds - Rob Morsberger - A Part Of You (CD, Album), Сон мой - Cleopatra (19) - Судьба моя (CD, Album), Juulikuu Lumi - Various - Eesti Hit 3 (CD), Moonlight Sonata - Adagio Sostenuto - Various - Relaxing Classics (CD)