6 Degrees of Seperation: Part 1

I’ve read that everyone knows everyone by 6 degrees of seperation or less. In fact, my friend, Lindsey and I used to play this game all the time when we would be bored at work. We’d give two name of people, and see if we could connect them. It was a fun game that passed the time on a slow day at the Opry. 

There’s a cool story behind this photo that’s only become a bigger part of a really cool story. Let me try to start at the beginning.

One rainy night in January 2011, I was working down at the Opry shop downtown, Opry Originals. It was rare for me to be working there on the night of a show, but Wanda Jackson was coming down to the shop after her Opry performance to do a record signing, so they had me there instead of the Ryman Auditorium. I was so excited to get to see her, after all she was an Oklahoma girl too. She was known in the 50’s as the “Queen of Rockabilly” and man could she rock. She had a southern western style mixed in with a rock n’ roll sound.

As I said it was kind of a dreary night, and unfortunately not as many people showed up to the signing as there usually would have been. There were many, but not just overhwhelmingly so. When Wanda came in a young man, in his late 20’s walked in with her. He stood over with her while she signed, then as the crowd started to thin he started walking around the shop, shopping. He picked up a few things and headed up to the counter. There’s no way to really describe what he looked like. The best way I can is by saying he was like a 1970’s Dwight Yokum, without the hat. Not to mention his subtle afro hairstyle. He reverberated “cool.” In fact my first thought was, “oh man, this guy thinks he’s too cool for school,” but that thought quickly evaporated when he started speaking to me. He was very kind, and introduced himself as Jon. He asked questions about his items he wanted to purchase, he asked if I liked working there at the Opry, just making small talk. Then he asked, “Do you  like Wanda Jackson?” I replied, “Well of course!” And he asked if I’d like to meet her, and I replied, a little shocked, “Of course I would!”

Technically we weren’t “aloud” as Opry employees to act like fans. Our music-guy was nice enough to at least get an autograph for me on one of her single vinyls, but I wasn’t aloud to get it myself, and I certainly wasn’t aloud to take any pictures! But the crowd was gone, it was just us workers (3 of us) and Jon and Wanda. So Jon led me over to introduce me to Wanda and asked if I wanted a picture, I thought what the heck! I’m gonna do it!  And so as you can see I got the picture above and got to chit-chat with Wanda Jackson for about 10 minutes. I was floating on cloud 9!! I later got in trouble by my manager, but it was worth it. I found out Jon was actually Wanda’s manager, so I figured no harm, no foul. Wanda didn’t seem to mind.

Before Jon left he asked if I’d want one of her vinyls when her new album came out, I said of course I would and he got my email and that was that. I figured he was probably just trying to do some good promoting before her record release and I’d probably never get that vinyl, but that was okay, it was nice of him letting me meet her. I was already ecstatic about the night I’d had!

Several weeks passed by and I get this email from a Jon asking for my address. I quickly remember where I knew the name and shot him an email back. About a week later I received The Party Ain’t Over on vinyl. I couldn’t believe this guy that I randomly met was nice enough to do this! He kept his word and continued to do so. He was an incredibly sincere person and I came to realize that very quickly. 
We became friends on Facebook and one night he messaged me asking if I’d be interested in coming to one of Wanda’s shows downtown at Robert’s. Robert’s was by far my favorite bar on Broadway, so I decided to go. Jon met me outside the door and I could see they’d already started “one in, one out” so I cringed at thinking about standing out there most the night. Jon greeted me and asked me to follow him, he started taking me around to the alley, I was a bit nervous I’ll admit, after all I didn’t really know this guy and I was following him to an alleyway, but then we went through the back door of Robert’s, up a flight of stairs, and there we were, in Robert’s VIP balcony. It was the perfect place to get to see Wanda’s performance!

Photo Credit: The Symmetric (Click Photo for Website)

There were a handful of other nights like that one. He was always so gracious with his knowledge of different music venues and shows and what was happening where, and always a gentleman. He knew so many different people, famous people, but you’d never know it. He was never boisterous about it, when he very easily could have been. He was kind, and genuine to everyone he had contact with. When I try to find the words to describe Jon, I never fully know what to say; he was seriously one of the coolest, most original, sincere people I’ve ever met. 

The last time I saw Jon he’d invited me out to a Dwight Yokum tribute (funny coincidence) in East Nashville. It was a fun night, with some good bands. Not long after that night, I moved back home and heard from Jon once or twice about coming to different shows. 

In 2015 I heard Jon passed away. It saddened me to know such an interesting, talented, genuine soul was gone. His knowledge for music and the music industry was impeccable. I didn’t know Jon near as well as so many others, but for a short while I had a friendship with him. Even after I moved home I kept up with his Facebook and Instagram, all the crazy and exciting things he was up to. I started to notice more and more photos of he and Shooter Jennings together. I remember thinking, “Man, that guy knows everyone!” Never imagining where that would lead me…
Stick around for Part 2 of 6 Degrees of Seperation, I plan on posting Thursday, 17th. Hope you tune in!


Hi, I’m Kassidi!

I’ve had several new followers over the past few months so I thought I’d share s few fun facts that some of you might not know about me, just to help you get a better feel for who I am. I’m always welcome to questions and stories, so leave a comment below or email me at aspottedheart@gmail.com ! Looking forward to hearing from y’all!

Okay, here we go….

  1. No Speeding!

I don’t speed. In fact, I’m usually going under the speed limit on my drives to and from town, simply because I don’t like to be rushed. I’ve always been a bit of a leisure driver, and it makes One Cute Cowboy nuts! 

    2.  Journalism 

When I was a freshman in college at Oklahoma State University, I majored in Journalism & Broadcasting. After I finished my Freshman year I decided to move to Levelland,TX to become a Commerical Music major. Most days I wish I would’ve finished up my bachelors in Journalism when I still had the endurance to study and go to class, but so is life. I’ve made a lot of great memories regardless. 😊

   3. Jazz

I really dig Jazz. I grew up listening to and singing country music and if it wasn’t country it was somewhere along the lines of The Eagles or The Big Chill Soundtrack. So when a professor came to me my second year of college asking if I’d be interested in being in a Jazz trio, I thought he was absolutely nuts! No one likes jazz!! And I for one, certainly didn’t know how to sing jazz! He kept on me about it for several weeks until I finally caved…and what do ya know? It’s become one of my favorite genres of music. That was one of the most challenging and fun bands I’ve had the pleasure of being a member of; I crave listening to it at times. It’s soothing and relaxing when nothing else feels right. I’ve included a bit of a playlist so you can have a peek into the kind of jazz I’m talking about. That smooth 40’s Sinatra-type jazz mixed in with some Billie Holiday and Norah Jones. Give it try, even if you’re certain you don’t like Jazz. 😉

   4. Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Some may be under the impression that I work/stay at the ranch and help OCC everyday, but I have a 9-5 in town, 5 days a week. The ultimate goal is to be a SAHRW (Saty At Home Ranchers Wife 😉 ) but for now, I enjoy my job and enjoy what I do.

   5. The Grand Ole Opry

While I lived in Nashville I worked at the famous Grand Ole Opry, and got to meet and see so many incredible artist. The Opry was probably my favorite place I’ve ever worked. I literally ran into Trace Adkins, got told “hello darlin'” by Loretta Lynn, and got to hug Wanda Jackson. It was an incredible experience. Oh! And I escorted Ty Pennington down the CMA Red Carpet for interviews. 

   6. “I’m your huckleberry.”

Tombstone is my absolute favorite movie. Though arguably I’ve seen You’ve Got Mail probably just as many times. I watch it every fall. Many times. But, Tombstone has so many good one-liners! 

“Why, you’re no daisy at all.”

“This is like playing poker with my sisters kids or something!”

“You tell ’em I’m coming! You hear? You tell ’em I’m coming, and Hell’s coming with me! Hells coming with me!”

“I have two guns; one for each of ya!”

And of course my personal favorite…

“I’m your huckleberry.”

Seriously I could sit down right now and probably quote the entire movie start to finish, but I’ll spare you. I just love it, always have. Doc Holliday. Man, what an interesting guy. I remember in 4th grade we were supposed to do a biography on someone well-known /famous in history. I chose Doc Holiday, and my teacher ask me to choose someone else. Ha!! My feelings are still hurt over that. 

Well there’s a few maybe unknown facts about who I am. Hope you’ve enjoyed them. As I said above, I’m always open to questions and always love a good story!