Jerry Lee Lewis’ niece in Wishaw

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By Cara Sulieman
SCOTLAND has a new famous resident in the shape of a member of American rock royalty.

Mary-Jean Lewis – niece of Jerry Lee Lewis – has been living in the country for fourteen months after meeting and falling in love with a dashing Scotsman.

But the streets of North Lanarkshire are a far cry from the glamourous life of Mary-Jean’s famous uncle.

‘Uncle Jerry’, as Mary-Jean calls him, has been a great influence to the singer, and she often performs his songs in her gigs.

Carrying on the family tradition, the 36-year-old plays in her own band, the MJ Lewis Project with gigs lined up across the country.

And the musician realises how lucky she is to have grown up around her uncle and his famous friends.

She said: “When I was younger, I spent a lot of time at my uncle’s house and it was pretty normal to see people like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins hanging out.

“Uncle Jerry was also really friendly with Elvis, having known him since before they both were famous. They lived near one another and were close right up until Elvis’ death.

“It wasn’t until I became an adult that I thought how lucky I was to be around all these talented people growing up.”

Originally from Louisiana, the singer now lives with her partner and two children in Wishaw, but Mary-Jean didn’t find the move too much of a shock.

She said: “I grew up in a small town in Louisiana and I have found the people in Wishaw and Scotland to be very friendly and warm, just like where I’m from.

“I even like the weather – including the snow – I think the cold makes you feel alive rather than constantly hot and tired, like you get back home in America.”

Explaining what brought the neice of a rock and roll legend to the small town of Wishaw, Mary-Jean explains that she fell in love.

She said: “Basically, I met a boy from here.

“I was living and performing in England for around three years and met my boyfriend Gary at a gig in Blackpool.

“Our relationship developed and I moved to Wishaw 14 months ago.”

With her new musical advernture underway in Scotland, Mary-Jean is pleased to have found a great band to play with.

She said: “The guys I have in the band are brilliant, the best musicians I have ever worked with.

“We incorporate gospel and country tunes and include my take on Uncle Jerry’s songs.”

And they have a lot to live up to as the singer frequently performs with her mother, Linda Gail Lewis.

Linda also followed in her brother’s footsteps and performed with Van Morrison, amongst others.

The MJ Project are playing in both Glasgow and Edinburgh later in the month, and hope to have more lined up throughout the rest of the year.

10 COMMENTS

  1. MaryJean is a great performer in her own right. Her style is rather different from her famous uncle, more folksy country. She has a wonderful voice.

    But why not mention her famous family? Not just Uncle Jerry Lee, but her mother Linda Gail Lewis, Jerry Lee’s first cousins – country singer/pianist Mickey Gilley (whose had more #1 Country hits than Jerry Lee himself), TV evangelist/singer/pianist Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Lee’s daughter Phoebe Lewis (also a singer), and MaryJean has also recorded and performed live with her mother Linda Gail and her sister Annie as The Lewis Three, a great female harmony group.

  2. imo, her musical output didn`t even get near his uncles…

    it is boring to hear those stories on & on again.

    she should keep her things private- nobody cares who she loves AGAIN- so many times she told her EVER LASTIN`LOVE to the public!

    • Thanks for taking the time to post the clarification, Wolfgang.
      We are happy for you to put the record straight.
      The Deadline Team

  3. HI, thanks Tony and thanks Wolfgang for your comments and to Jim … thanks as well. Your honesty is appreciated. I would like to point out that I have never claimed to be as tlalented as my uncle or my mother for that matter. I am ever so proud of the connection, as it is part of my heritage and has contributed to the person and the artist that I have become.

    As far as my private life being part of stories from time to time; just as my past life is part of who I am, so also is my present circumstance. All these things are a part of my identity. Honestly, it does amaze me sometimes that people are interested in these things, but they are. That isn’t to say that ALL people are, as is obvious by comments made by Jim. Jim, your opinion has been taken on board; however, as long as people continue to ask these questions I believe it is safe to assume that someone must be interested in the answer.

    I do sympathise with you. Some times I see stories in the paper that I could care less about. Those are the stories I don’t bother wasting my time with. Some bore me, some anger me, and some just down right puzzle me; however, I am sure that someone must find them interesting. For that reason, I am careful not to judge and criticize others for their opinions. To assume that everyone will share my opinion would be wrong indeed.

    All the best to everyone. and thank you Cara for piece.

    MJ

  4. Oh — and I’ll be playing at the Spider’s Web in Edinburgh tonight (20th Feb) — A great venue … A brilliant atomsphere — would love to see some new faces there!

  5. Brilliant performer in her own right..carrying on the Lewsis tradition of electrifying performances..keep on rocking Mary Jean xx

  6. Loved hearing MJ’s work on Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson programme. Wish I could see her upcoming gigs and hope she and her band come north soon!

  7. I just heard Mary jean and the starlight boys last night and she and the band blew me away!cant wait to see them again,what a lovely person got my picture took with her and as for these stupid comments above!why shouldn’t she mention her famous uncle and mum as she she is part of what she is today I certainly would be proud of my family too….such talent! Rock on Mj

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