Jerry Lee Lewis: Today - Years Ago

On this day in 1962 - Jerry Lee loses his first son, the Steve Allen (named after the TV host and good friend), in a tragic drowning accident at the age of three. One of the many tragic days in Killer´s life.

Paul MacPhail wrote in his very well recherched and fabulous book *The Ferriday Fireball: Jerry Lee Lewis* for this day:

Easter Sunday, and Jerry was in Minneapolis; not all as well. Since that ruinous spring of 1958 there had been no more huge hits and no more big paychecks.
However, Jerry was still rockin´ on, touring the country in a dirty Cadillac, howling of the fire and the shaking, seeking his own vague salvation. In less than a week, he would be flying across the ocean to tour England; that place he had neighter seen nor missed in four years, and he did not know what to expect. He was no longer the contender to the throne of rock´ n roll and things were different now.
Elvis reigned in solitude, no longer performing on stage public. Buddy Holly and Big Bopper were dead, as was Eddie Cochran. They sent Chuck Berry to prison for the Mann Act, and Little Richard had to joined the ministry and was singing gospel. Alan Freed was fired and had been living in poverty, an alcoholic. Rock´n Roll itself had changed. It was soft and weak, and wherever Jerry heard it on the radio, it dit not remind him of anything but injustice. It seemed to him that he was the only one still rockin´ and burning after all these years. But his fame had dwindled and so had his money.
A year ago, it seemed his luck was about to change when his hit version of *What´d I say* rose to #25 on the national Hot 100 chart and then crossed to the Country and R&B charts, and even broke into the Top Ten in England. But since then there was nothing.

Nine hundred miles away in Memphis, as dusk settled on the Sunday of resurrection, Myra Gale sat at the kitchen table making out a grocery list. Little Steve Allen, who turned three in February, pulled at her skirt for attention. She reached out and rubbed his blond crew cut. She finished the list and looked at the clock on the kitchen wall. It was 6:40 pm, still in time to get to the store.Then she noticed that Steve was gone. She searched the house calling his name, and the farther she searched and couldn´t find him, the quicker her heart shock. Old Elmo was out on the porch, having him a drink, and Myra got him to join in the search. She ran next door to her neighbor, E.E. Haning, and terrified voice she asked him to search the swimming pool behind the house.
Haning ran to the swimming pool and jumped in the shallow end, then walked slowly towards the deep end, forty feet away. In about five feet of water, by a little edge of the pool, Haning met a soft, horrible, gently drifting weight. He raised the tiny body, and tremling, laid it on the concrete patio. Myra felt something she´d never known to exist, and she came apart in shock.
Volunteers from the Whitehaven Fire Dept. arrived and medics tried giving the small child mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Then a doctor who lived nearby arrived. He exposed the heart by taking knife to the breast and tearing downward. He massaged Steve´s heart for many minutes and then stood sighing, shaking his head. His rinsed the blood off his hands in the pool water. From the patio, Myra watched the doctor´s silhouette illuminated by flashlights against draped bed sheets as he operated for twenty minutes. He came into the house and sat beside Myra as firemen loaded Steve into an ambulance. *There was nothing I could do*, he said. Myra went into the bedroom and phoned the Minneapolis hotel where Jerry was staying. Cecil answered and Myra said, *Steve fell in the pool. They´re taking him to the hospital. Tell Jerry*. She hung up. Cecil immediately ran up several sets of stairs to Jerry´s room and told him.
Jerry phoned the hospital in Memphis and was told his son was dead. Although he said nothing and showed no emotion, Cecil knew it was tragic news by the look on his face. Cecil took the receiver from him and made reservations on the first plane flight to Memphis. At the airport, it was announced that bad weather conditions cancelled the flight. All hope of departing before dawn had vanished.
At sunrise, they took the first flight out as the weather cleared and the fog had lifted.
In Memphis, Steve was being prepaired for shipment to the Corner Funeral Home in Ferriday. Elmo asked their family physician to prescribe a strong sedative for Myra before she was told of Steve´s death.

(continued in Paul´s book)

Jerry Lee, Myra & Steve Allen
(Ferriday Hospital 28.February 1959)

Later, Jerry played not often shows on this date.
Thirty one years later he did.
Jerry Lee Lewis live in Belfast 22.April 1993,
*Help Me Make It Through The Night*

Thanks to Paul!

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