Family first

As a teen, vivacious young Jewell had plenty of dates. But before she went out with a beau, she made sure to pay plenty of attention to her little red-haired sister, Zona, who was five years younger. Jewell’s niece, Diann, recalls hearing how “Jewell would play dolls with Aunt Zona, and then get ready for her […]

The Chelette Sisters

One afternoon in probably ’54 or ‘55, I heard mother laughing and chattering with some women and went to the living room to see who’d arrived. There with Jewell was a lady and her three angelic young daughters. Mother didn’t have to tell me the girls were performers. Their elegant poise and radiant smiles were […]

Radical Eyebrows

Jewell’s creative spirit explored life in more ways than songwriting. She particularly enjoyed experimenting with new looks. Jetta Riley, wife of accomplished steel guitarist Jay Riley of Sacramento, Calif., recalls one intriguing twist that Jewell came up with in 1951 when Jetta was 18. Jewell had plucked nearly all of her eyebrows and with a dark eyebrow […]