Country western star Mickey Gilley was born on March 9, 1936 in Natchez, Mississippi, the cousin of future rockabilly legend Jerry Lee Lewis and disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, and raised in Ferriday, Louisiana. In their childhood, all three would play the piano when they got together and sing gospel and boogie-woogie songs. After Lewis became a chart-topper in the 1950s, Mickey turned professional himself and cut some singles before becoming a session player in the Big Easy.First married at age 17, Gilley had a minor hit, "Call Me Shorty", in 1958, but it would be years before he came out from under Jerry lee's shadow and established himself as a star. He didn't release his first album, "Down the Line", until 1967. The album yielded a minor hit, "Now I Can Live Again". Three years later, he became a nightclub owner when he opened Gilley's Club in Pasadena, Texas in 1971. The club, billed as the "world's biggest honky tonk", became famous when it was used as the setting for Urban Cowboy (1980), which boosted Gilley's national exposure. By the 1980s, Gilley was experiencing crossover success when he mellowed his C+W with a more pop orientation. He managed to put songs on the charts in each of 15 years, enjoying 17 #1 country hits.Gilley and partner Sherwood Cryer had a falling out after Cryer became increasingly hostile about changes made to the club. Gilley eventually had to sue Cryer over their "50-50" deal, which Gilley argued favored Cryer much more heavily. Gilley won $17 million from Cryer, but it completely shattered their relationship and forced the closing of the club in 1989. Gilley opened another club in Dallas under the same name in 2006. There's a Gilley's in Las Vegas, and the town of LaPorte, Texas, approved a new Gilley's, not far from the original.