Making it on her own, Georgette Jones, the daughter of Tammy Wynette and George Jones, has reached an exciting point in her music career, which she will share at her Dec 15 concert at the Cailloux Theater.
Georgette Jones: On her own
by Phil Houseal
The story of Georgette Jones might best be told in the lyrics of one of Tammy Wynette’s hit songs:
I'll need time to get you off my mind
Georgette, of course, is the daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette–the King and Queen of country music. Being the offspring of two country music icons can be a “bittersweet” affair, according to Georgette Jones.
“I certainly don’t want to sound like whining, because being who my parents are is a wonderful thing,” Georgette confided during a phone interview. “But it also has drawbacks. It has been difficult only in that for people who book me, their first impulse is to ask me to sing like mom and dad. But it’s been fun to discover what I like to write and sing.”
She is in the process of putting together a personal music project that she was unable to reveal, but she promises it will be more her style of music. What is that style?
“It is kind of difficult to describe my influences,” she admits. “I grew up on traditional country music, which I love. but along the way I also discovered other people who influenced me, like Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. They still call me ‘country,’ but it is more an earthy blues, acoustic sound. It has evolved–it just comes out when I write.”
And 'till I get used to losing you, let me keep on using you,
But Georgette understands the timeless appeal to fans of her mother and father. That is why her upcoming show at the Cailloux Theater on Dec 15 will be a “tribute” show. The echo of her mother is uncanny.
“I did not want to sound like mom, because I can’t really fill those shoes. So when I’m singing mom’s music, it is not a conscious effort to sound like her. But I’ve listened to her my whole life, so it is embedded in my brain. So when I sing, I’m singing what I heard and what I remember.”
The majority of songs will be her mom’s, with some of her dad’s, along with a couple pieces of her own material. It is still an emotional experience to perform her parents’ music, especially so soon after losing her father this year.
“To be honest, for months after my dad passed away, even the fun songs like The Race Is On were still difficult for me to sing. So I won’t share as much of dad’s music. It took me a year and half to even listen to mom’s music after losing her. You grow through that, and mom’s music is actually therapeutic to me now.”
I’ll get by, ‘til I can make it on my own.
Joining Georgette on stage will be Amber Digby and her band. The two have performed before and work well together.
“I love Amber and Randy–they are the most amazing people ever. We are on the same label, and have worked together. I am more than thrilled they are backing me up and I am looking forward to it.”
The show will be a powerful emotional experience, for both the audience and the performer.
“As I said, it is a bittersweet thing. I am able to share that music because I always want people to remember my mom. So I will tell different stories, and give some background and history on how a song came about or what it means. It will be more than an ordinary tribute–not your typical tribute show. Because my mom was my mom, and my dad was my dad, I will be able to share things not normally shared at a tribute concert. It will be more personal and meaningful for the people there.”
'Til I can make it on my own
“I will always honor my parents, and include their music in my shows. I am in a place now that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be in. Things have worked out. I am absolutely thrilled to death to do my own music. Not everyone gets the opportunity to do that.”