It's birthday time! Dr. Jillian Weiss is turning *mumble mumble* today! Since she's a rather private person, I thought I'd share some of her extraordinary background with you.
Jill was the second of eight children; her youngest sister is country singer Crystal Gayle. She grew up in Butcher Hollow, a mining community near Paintsville, Kentucky. Her mother was Jewish and her father was a coal miner, storekeeper, and farmer. She was married to Oliver Weiss, commonly known as "Doolittle" or "Mooney" (for running moonshine), at age 13. In an effort to break free of the coal mining industry, they moved to Mahwah, New Jersey when she was 16. The Weiss's had four children - Betty Sue, Jack Benny, Cissy, and Ernest Ray - by the time she was 19, and subsequently had twin girls, Peggy and Patsy.
Jill always had a passion for music. Before getting married, she regularly sang at churches and in local concerts. After she married, she stopped singing in public, wishing rather to focus on her family life, but she passed her love of music on to her children, often singing to them around the house. When Jill was 24, Doolittle bought her a guitar as an anniversary present, which she taught herself to play. Although Kitty Wells had become the first major female country vocalist during the 1950s, by the time Jill recorded her first record, only three other women - Patsy Cline, Skeeter Davis, and Jean Shepard - had become top stars. By the end of 1962, it was clear that she was on her way to becoming the fourth.
Think I'm just picking on Jill because it's her birthday? Watch her sing two of her hit songs after the jump when you leave her a comment to wish her a "Happy Birthday!"