The Life and Humble Beginnings of Jessi Colter
Born on May 25, 1943, Jessi Colter ‘s birth name is Mirriam Johnson. She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona in a strict Pentecostal home. Being born to a mother who is a Pentecostal preacher and a father who is a race-car driver, Colter’s childhood was not easy. She became the pianist at her church at the age of 11.
Colter started her music career after graduating from high school wherein she began singing in local pubs in Phoenix. In 1961, she married guitarist Duane Eddy. During that time, she still used her real name, Mirriam Johnson.
Under the Jamie label, she issued two singles. “Lonesome Road” was her first single. However, it received not so good reactions from country music fans and did not make it to any national charts.
In 1968, Colter and Eddy divorced after a seven-year marriage. The following year, she met Waylon Jennings who was also a country music artist. Jennings helped her secure a recording contract with RCA Victor. In the same year, they got married and she adopted her stage name, Jessi Colter, in honor of her great-grandfather, Jesse Colter.