In the Wake of His Fifth Wife's Death, Jerry Lee Lewis Takes Bride No. 6, Kerrie Mccarver

updated 05/14/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/14/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jerry Lee Lewis was a five-time loser in marriage, but the mother of bride No. 6 beamed as her 21-year-old daughter vowed to love, honor and obey the legendary rocker in the family's East Memphis backyard. Sarah McCarver, 43, and her car salesman husband, Bob, who at 48 is the same age as Lewis, had hoped that one of their daughters (Kerrie, Terri and Sherry) would make a name in music. Now, as Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis, Kerrie has achieved their goal overnight. (She had missed with her first marriage—to Elvis Presley's second cousin, Memphis hairdresser Davey Mann.)

Last September, right after the overdose death of wife No. 5, Lewis started looking for consolation. He found it at Hernando's Hide-a-Way, a road stop near the Tennessee-Mississippi border where Kerrie sang country songs nightly. Soon after she was reported to have moved into Lewis' Nesbit, Miss, home. Mother McCarver scoffs at the scurrilous talk: "Kerrie didn't actually call that home," she explains.

By 1970 Lewis' first three marriages had ended in divorce, and in 1982 the fourth Mrs. Lewis (Jaren Gunn) drowned in a swimming pool. "I don't dwell on someone's past," says Sarah McCarver of her son-in-law. "The future is ahead for them and if they have happiness, I'm all for it."

Meanwhile Davey Mann predicts nothing but trouble for his ex-wife. "She done goofed up," he says. "She's after a career and maybe she thinks he'll do something for her. But I don't believe he will—he's too self-centered." Retorts Sarah McCarver: "Kerrie didn't marry him for his money. She's not a big spender."

Whatever the case, Kerrie seems to have married into a lot of trouble: Last March she accompanied Jerry Lee when he checked into a Memphis hospital with an overdose of muscle relaxant pills, and earlier this year she stood by his side when he faced a federal judge in Memphis for income tax evasion. Jerry Lee is now free on a $100,000 bond. No matter, Sarah McCarver now says optimistically, "He is real scared of drugs and Kerrie has him drinking only coffee."

From Our Partners