A Few Thoughts on Being Born Famous – Georgette Jones
A very good writer, the Editiorial Director of CMT/CMT.com, Chet Flippo wrote in his NASHVILLE SKYLINE column recently. The subject? The daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Let's pause and absorb THAT little bit of circumstance: being the only child of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
Chet reports that when their only child was born, George and Tammy were contacted by the great Billy Sherrill. Billy is still recognized today as one of the best producers in the business. Billy sent the happy couple a dozen roses to the new mom, and a signed contract for the baby. A signed contract...
Now, there are thousands of aspiring artists in Nashville and around the world that would do just about anything for the contract a newborn girl got.
Billy was betting on the future. And just how did the future play out?
Tamala Georgette Jones is now an adult. And as her memoir, "The Three of Us: Growing Up With Tammy and George" comes out, we find that being that famous that soon has its ups and definitely its downs.
The memoir is honest. As Georgette (as she prefers to be called) writes, her parents were divorced when she was just four. Georgette is quoted in the book as laying the blame for the break-up on "his nippin'" and "her naggin'."
Country fans know a few of the details of how things worked out. Tammy died tragically of an apparent prescription drug overdose. George finally found his happiness with his current wife Nancy.
Georgette talks about her mom's bad marriages and the mystery still surrounding Tammy's death.
Georgette was finally able to reconcile fully with George and know him as a father again after Tammy's
Georgette's spares no anger and lays a great deal of blame and shame on her mom's last husband, George Richey.
She writes of her anger over Richey's actions during and after Tammy's public memorial at the famous Ryman Auditorium :
"For anyone who has ever asked me what being the child of a celebrity was about, let me say that Mom's public funeral combined what constitutes the lowest and highest points," she writes. "First, there is no doubt that it warmed my heart to see the people who came from all over the world to pay tribute to Mom. Those fans truly loved her, and that meant a lot to me and my sisters. But the flip side was hearing Richey on the telephone, bragging about the event being as big as Princess Diana's death. The
difference between him on those phone calls and him when he sobbed to the stars in attendance or for cameras was obscene."
Georgette has divorced and was involved (briefly) in a scandal over attacking a police officer. Those charges were later proven false. She has battled cervical cancer through it all.
After her mother's death, Georgette was able to begin repairing her relationship with her dad, thanks in large part to the efforts of her step mom, Nancy.
Georgette originally decided that a career in the biz was just not for her.
"I loved singing backup for Mom," she writes, "the feeling of being a part of her world,
the screaming crowds. But I knew what that applause was about. I understood that
people wanted to see Tammy Wynette and George Jones' daughter up there singing,
and I never once mistook my talent for that of my parents."
Georgette is a nurse now. And though she has now begun cautiously pursuing a solo
music career, That contract from Billy Sherril was never used.
As Chet reports in his column, Tammy never let her beautician's license expire. Georgette still keeps her nursing credentials up-to-date. You know, just in case destiny takes a different turn.
The Memoir is called "The three of us: Growing Up With Tammy and George".
You can read Chet Flippo's excelllent column "Nashville Skyline" here.