Jerry Lee Lewis Recovering From Stroke; Cancels Gig

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Jerry Lee Lewis (Photo via his Facebook page)

Jerry Lee Lewis continues to recover from the stroke he suffered on February 28. A May 21 update on his Facebook page, indicates that he is “progressing miraculously in his recovery.” Nevertheless, the legend has thus cancelled a July 1 performance that was scheduled for Nashville.

Less than three weeks after suffering the stroke, Lewis’ neurologist said that the music icon “is expected to fully recover with intensive rehab.” That March 18 statement from Dr. Rohini Bhole, posted on Lewis’ social media platforms, also indicated that he has been transferred to a rehabilitation center.

The May 21 update noted: “Unfortunately, Jerry Lee Lewis will have to cancel the July 1 Nashville show at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Although Jerry Lee is progressing miraculously in his recovery following the recent stroke, he doesn’t feel his performing is yet back to the level that his fans deserve. In the meantime, Jerry Lee is continuing his rehabilitation and his team expects a full recovery, as well as a return show in Nashville in the very near future.”

Lewis suffered what was described as “a minor stroke” on Feb. 28. The news was revealed on his Facebook page on March 1. At that time, the brief post indicated that “doctors expect a full recovery.”

The March 18 statement also noted that Lewis will have to cancel his April 28 Jazz Fest appearance in New Orleans, as well as performances that were scheduled in Knoxville, Tenn. (May 18) and Alexandria, Va. (June 8).

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer greatly appreciates the prayers and well wishes he’s received from fans all over the world,” said the statement. “He wants them to know he can’t wait to get back on stage and into the studio to make his Gospel record.”

The original March 1 statement noted that the rock and roll original, 83, is said to be “recuperating in Memphis… and looks forward to getting back into the studio soon.”

His representative, Zach Farnum, told the Nashville Tennessean that he expected the “Killer” would be able to perform at his next scheduled concert at Jazz Fest on April 28. “He’s a devout Christian,” Farnum told the paper. “We’re just asking for prayers and support and privacy.” That performance was cancelled.

The piano-playing singer is one of the originators of rock and roll music alongside his Sun Records labelmate Elvis Presley.

He rocketed to fame on the strength of such hit singles as 1957’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” (#3) and “Great Balls of Fire” (#2) and 1958’s “Breathless” (#7) and “High School Confidential” (#21) until it became known at the start of a 1958 tour of Great Britain that the 22-year-old artist known as “The Killer” had married his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale.

In 1986, he was an inaugural inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Born on Sept. 29, 1935, and after seven marriages, the deaths of two wives and two sons, various arrests, tax troubles and numerous other travails, Lewis still continues to perform and record.

His most recent concert was February 16 in Greenville, S.C.

Watch the full set; Lewis joined his band after the first four songs (12-minute mark)

Not addressed was a July 1 date in Nashville which was originally scheduled for December 2018 but was postponed due to illness.

Related: Lewis is featured in our story, First Generation Rockers: Who’s Still With Us?

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  1. Dom
    #1 Dom 23 May, 2019, 11:14

    I love you Jerry Lee and wish you a speedy recovery please come and play in Pennsylvania when your recovered last time I saw you play here was in 1984 thank you sir best to you always

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