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Sister Fern
played several instruments and wrote scores of gospel songs, but she didn't read music. Her husband had learned shape-note singing as a child. Sister Fern sang her songs into a tape recorder and sent the tapes off to a transcription service in Hollywood, where they were handwritten onto music manuscript paper and returned to her.
In 1959, Sister Fern realized a dream - singing onstage at the Ryman Auditorium, the home of The Grand Ol Opry. By this time she had moved to California, and as she traveled back to the Deep South to promote her album, it was this appearance in Nashville that she was most excited about.
Sister Fern finally got herself a record deal, and a mink stole, and a pink Cadillac in the driveway. One stop on her promotion tour was the Annual Deejay Convention in Nashville in 1959, where this ardent fan followed her everywhere.

In 2001, The Hollywood Reporter included The Joneses in their story about American Roots music. This picture accompanying the story was taken in 1956 at the dedication of the church in Bogalusa, Louisiana, just before their two worlds collided. On that Sunday, Reverend Jones was celebrating the new building and the new flock, while Sister Fern was negotiating a recording contract and a move to California.

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