Rock ‘n’ roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis was a pioneer in the music industry and left a larger-than-life legacy when he died in 2022 at the age of 87.
Also known as “The Killer” for his wild personality, Lewis’ lifestyle was equally unique, and at one point in the 70s, he owned more than 2/3 of his Mississippi ranch. Signed to his best friend and tour manager, Cecil Harrelson. Sr. Another third was secured by a law firm.
Harrelson Sr. died in 2012, and in his last will and testament, he gave the proceeds from the sale of the ranch to his three children with the stipulation that the property could only be sold when Lewis died. The “Great Balls of Fire” singer died in October.
The legal battle over the 30-acre property appears to have just begun, however, as Lewis’ son, Jerry “Lee” Lewis III, who currently lives on the ranch with his sons, was served with an eviction notice and He was ordered to leave the property. As the Harrelson family began plans to sell the Nesbitt, Mississippi, land.
Jerry Lee Lewis, ‘Great Balls of Fire’ singer, dies aged 87
“My dad has told me a lot of things about what will happen when he dies,” Lee exclusively revealed. “I feel like he told me for dang close to my whole life, and I still don’t feel like he prepared me for what I’m going through right now.”
“The people that are coming at me versus the people that he told me would come at me — it’s not the same. It actually surprises me a lot,” he added.
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The late country musician led a controversial life and had seven marriages and six children. At one point, he was married to his cousin, Myra Gail Brown.
Cecil also became a family man when he married Linda Gail Lewis, Jerry’s younger sister. Linda and Cecil had three children – Cecil Harrelson Jr., Mary Jane Ferguson and Annie Marie Dolan.
Shortly after Lewis’ death, a website was created that included pictures of the estate, stating that the “Jerry Lee Lewis ranch will be sold” as a “development opportunity or fan’s dream home.”
In addition to the late pianist’s home, the listing includes a “reserved lake, two ponds, outbuildings, a self-contained apartment and swimming pool”. Prospective buyers can opt for a “hybrid development option” in which the land would be used to build a gated community or holiday resort, billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. .
Lee believed that the ranch would be protected and that he would retain the Lewis family home after his father’s death. He was surprised to find that his cousins felt differently.
““From my understanding, the website went down on November 25,” Lee said. “It’s not even a month after he passed away.”
Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Whitley were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
Lee found out about the website on social media while he was at work and claimed that Harrelson Jr. tried to pull a “faster” by trying to get Lee out of the Lois family home.
He said that this is not his legacy and history.
Lee insisted that Harrelson Jr.’s desire to turn the ranch into a Jerry Lee Lewis museum and musical destination isn’t something his father “wants right now.”
“You have to work so hard,” he said. “We’ve had him open for tours on more than one occasion. Maybe one day we’ll do it again because I know that’s something he’s always enjoyed, to have the band around the house. . But now we have to maintain it. To protect it.”
Lee’s confusion begins when he assumes that he is inheriting the estate when his father dies. In Lewis’s final will, he stated that Lee should take over the family estate, but that Lewis had no legal title to the ranch.
“When it comes down to it, my father wouldn’t have given me a will to my family home thinking it wouldn’t be ours. It doesn’t make sense.”
However, Lee is optimistic about staying home with his sons and continuing the legacy their father worked so hard to build. He has created a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of being able to buy the property once it is sold.
“In further discussions between our attorneys, it appears they have agreed to let us stay until the property is sold,” Lee wrote on the campaign.
He wrote that his father “hoped the farm would stay in the family despite financial struggles, divorce and tragedy.”
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“He enlisted the help of his friend and one-time brother-in-law Cecil Harrelson to do so—choosing to put the ranch in a life estate to his surviving Uncle Cecil to protect it. Despite accounts to the contrary, my father Cecil And there was never any intention to transfer the property to his heirs.”
“According to my father’s wishes, he left the fields to me in his last will and testament,” stressed Lee.
The Harrelson family contested the campaign in a statement published on their website, and also claimed that a civil lawsuit was pending.
“Lee (and those close to him) repeatedly chose to misrepresent the facts,” he wrote. “Our father’s efforts to discredit and damage the sale of the property by making false statements, and misleading court officials with false information, led to a lengthy and expensive legal process to obtain possession. A In the form of a civil suit. All parties involved in the proceedings will be named. With heavy documentation, we are confident that the case will be decided in our favour.”
The Harrelsons did not immediately return a request for comment.
Three-time Grammy Award winner Lewis was included. Country Music Hall of Fame On October 16. According to the Country Music Association, he had 34 top 20 country hits between 1968 and 1981.
“He’s my dad, and at the core of it, my dad is also Jerry Lee Lewis,” Lee said.
“It’s the most brutal thing you can ever think of. You know, when you’re a kid, you think, ‘That’s just my dad. He’s a great musician.’ Then you get a little older, and you’re like, ‘Well, this guy created an art form and changed the world.’
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