Goodness Gracious: ‘Killer’ weds, for 7th time, in Natchez

Published 12:11 am Friday, March 30, 2012

The couple was engaged soon after but had no definite wedding details — until five months ago.

“We were just watching an old movie and he said, ‘Let’s get married in Ferriday. I want to get married in my old house,’” Judith said.

Lewis was first married in the early 1950s when he made Dorothy Barton his wife.

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But Lewis is most infamous for his 1957 marriage to then-13-year-old Myra Gale Brown — also his first cousin once removed.

Placing all that behind them, the couple began planning for the wedding with high hopes of hearing wedding bells by early March.

But health problems soon after arriving in the Miss-Lou sidetracked the wedding for a few days.

“I noticed that he wasn’t feeling real well, so we went to the doctor and they said Jerry just needed a little physical therapy for his back and he’d be fine,” Judith said. “We checked him into Riverland (Medical Center), and they helped him with his back.”

Not wanting to let a little back pain stop him from marrying his soul mate, Judith said Jerry was adamant about having the ceremony in his hospital room.

“He kept saying, ‘Just bring the preacher into the hospital, and we’ll get married here,’” Judith said. “I talked him out of that one.”

After leaving the hospital, Jerry was still having some back pains, so the couple decided to have the wedding in Natchez at the house where they were staying.

“We decided to have the wedding here in Natchez, because his back was hurting, but also because we love Natchez,” Judith said, who did the talking for Jerry while he rested. “He wants to renew our vows in Ferriday, though.”

And even though Lewis could fill up an invitation list that would stretch across the bridge into Ferriday, Judith said the couple decided to keep the wedding small and private.

Judith’s sister, Jerry’s sister — Frankie Jean Terrell of Ferriday — and the preacher — the Rev. Doug Broome of Natchez — were among those present.

“We don’t really need to do all that big wedding stuff,” Judith said. “It was just going to be me, him and the preacher, but we decided to invite some close family.”

Since becoming Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis, the newlyweds have been cruising around Natchez and Ferriday reliving old memories.

“We’ve been going to Ferriday and looking at all his old stomping grounds there and here in Natchez,” Judith said.

Ending a month-long wedding and honeymoon celebration, the couple will return home to Nesbit today, but Judith said they always look forward to returning to the Miss-Lou.

“We’re going back (today) and taking a detour on the Natchez Trace,” Judith said. “We’ve had a great time here. He always seems happiest when he’s in Ferriday and Natchez.”