Jean Chapel

Jean Chapel

Jean Chapel (b. Opal Jean Amburgey, May 6, 1925 - d. 1995) was an American country singer and songwriter. She recorded for several record labels and wrote over 400 songs, more than 170 of which were published in her lifetime.

Opal Jean Amburgey was born into a family of six children in Lester County, Kentucky. At the age of eleven she learned guitar and banjo, and performed with her sisters as the Sunshine Sister band. Together they left home when Jean was 13 and were hired to play daily at radio station WKLP in Lexington, Kentucky in 1938. They moved to Atlanta in 1940 to sing on the "WSB Barn Dance"; she began using the nickname "Mattie" at this time. Her sister Irene would later record with Columbia Records under the name Martha Carson.

In 1950 they moved to Chicago to play on the "National Barn Dance" on WLS. Soon after Jean began appearing on the "Grand Ole Opry" opposite Salty Holmes, whom she had married in 1947. In 1956, she recorded a few rockabilly recordings under the name Jean Chapel with Sun Records; one of the tunes, "Welcome to the Club", was issued as a B-side of a single by Elvis Presley. After she divorced Holmes in 1956 she moved to Nashville and devoted herself primarily with songwriting. She befriended Tammy Wynette, who asked her to record the duet "Crazy Me".

In 1973, the Country Music Association declared her song "To Get to You" one of the five best songs of the year.



* [ Jean Chapel] at Allmusic

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