Jana Jae

About Jana Jae

b. Jana Margaret Meyer, 30 August 1942, Great Falls, Montana, USA. Her parents both studied classical violin and she began playing at the age of three. However, her maternal grandfather, a country fiddler, influenced her musical direction. After her parents divorced, Jae grew up with her mother in Colorado and Idaho, gaining musical experience playing in school orchestras and talent contests. She qualified in classical music at a Denver college and gained a scholarship to study for a year at the Vienna Academy in Austria. Between 1967 and 1970, she was married, raised two children, was divorced and resumed a musical career, winning national fiddle championships in 1973 and 1974. In 1974, while playing in a bluegrass band, she was heard by Buck Owens. When, in 1975, Don Rich died in a motorcycle accident, she replaced him in Owens’ Buckeroos and regularly played with them on tour and on Hee Haw. In 1977, after recording a solo album of Owens’ songs without permission, she was sacked, but later, she and Owens married. It proved a stormy relationship. First, Owens divorced her; they then remarried, but soon afterwards she divorced Owens. She continued to play with him until 1979, when she became a solo artist and recorded for Lark Records. Apart from her country fiddling, with her trademark blue fiddle, she has a love of jazz music, which has even seen her play at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In the 80s, with her band Hotwire, she continued to perform and also worked on commercials and promotional work for a major chain store company. She gained the nickname of Fiddling Femme Fatale and stands as the first female musician to become a member of Owens’ band.

Great Falls, MT, United States
August 30, 1942
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