Consequently, it is said, he and his whole entourage fell down on their knees and prayed for a full hour before he took the stage at the Gaumont State, Kilburn, North London.For some reason, God doesn’t seem to have been listening — but then in the Southern states where Lewis came from, many people believed that rock and roll was the Devil’s music.In fact, initially he was quite pleased with all the publicity he was getting.
We'd heard about the phenomenon of the child bride in fiction from the Tennessee Williams’ play and the film Baby Doll.
But buttoned-up, respectable, repressed Fifties Britain had never come across the real thing before.
On learning of Myra’s age, the police had turned up at the Westbury Hotel to interview the star and his bride, after which their notes were passed on to the Director of Public Prosecutions to see if any British laws had been broken.
Meanwhile, in the House of Commons, the Home Office minister, Iain Macleod, was called upon to answer questions from MPs.
And that was important, because, having been completely overlooked by Elvis Presley who’d never come to Britain (and who was by then in the U. Army, anyway), there was a feeling that we were getting everything second-hand and missing all the fun. 'The Killer': Jerry Lee Lewis' nickname "Fifteen," the singer replied, obviously thinking that sounded suitably mature. Despite Lewis’s assertions that Myra was "a grown woman", as far as Britain was concerned, she was below the age of consent.
True, we’d had a couple of would-be early rock stars of our own, but they were limp counterfeits like Tommy Steele, who already seemed to have one eye on becoming the dreaded all-round entertainers. Could he possibly live up to his advance billing, those of us who bought the music papers wondered, as we read about him on our way to school. The headlines the next day were not good for the star’s first day in Britain.
The maker of some classic rock hits he might have been, but The Killer’s career never properly recovered. And after disc jockeys around the world refused to play his records, he never had another big hit.
From ,000-a-night shows, he was reduced to earning 0 a night.
Among teenagers of a musical bent, there was much anticipation 50 years ago this week.
Jerry Lee Lewis, an American rock and roll singer with long blond hair who played a frenetic boogie woogie piano while standing up, and often with one foot on the keyboard, was on his way to Britain for a six-week tour.
Right from the beginning, rock and roll music had been soaked in scandal, perhaps not too surprisingly when it’s remembered that the actual words "rock and roll" had been, in black American nightclubs, a euphemism for sexual activity long before they became associated with music.