Teaching Students About Jerry Lee Lewis’s Wife


To genuinely understand the music of the 1950s, one must explore the life of groundbreaking musician Jerry Lee Lewis. While delving into his legendary career, it’s essential to address the controversy surrounding his marriage to Myra Gale Brown. Teaching students about Jerry Lee Lewis’s wife offers a comprehensive understanding of the era, its societal values and transformation in acceptable social norms.

The Controversy

At the height of his career, Jerry Lee Lewis made headlines when he married Myra Gale Brown in 1957. The union resulted in widespread outrage, mainly because Myra was only 13 years old at the time and also Lewis’s first cousin once removed. This controversy not only affected his public image but also severely impacted his musical career.

Cultural Context and Perspectives

To teach students effectively about this event, it’s crucial to provide a cultural context as well as perspectives that allow them to form their own opinions and interpretations. In the 1950s, certain regions in America were more accepting of teenage marriages than they are today. Presenting historical context ensures students have a broader understanding of societal attitudes during that period.

Discussion Points for Classroom Debate

Students can benefit greatly from examining subjects like marrying at a young age, relatives marrying, popular culture and moral values, or celebrity expectations. Encourage open dialogue through classroom exercises such as debates or group discussions. This format allows students to critically think about historical events and develop their perspective on social norms.

Importance of Addressing Controversial Topics

Educators must not shy away from controversial subjects like the marriage between Jerry Lee Lewis and Myra Gale Brown because it provides an opportunity to reflect on ethics and historical developments. Honest conversations surrounding these topics can help develop critical thinking skills and encourage students to question societal norms.


The story of Jerry Lee Lewis’s wife offers an effective teaching tool that links music history with social, cultural, and ethical issues of the time. Providing context, encouraging debate, and addressing controversial topics will help students understand the complexities of the past and challenge them to consider shifting societal values over time. Teaching young minds about Jerry Lee Lewis’s wife enables them to develop an objective understanding of the era and its icons.

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