Stafford looking to Tamworth return

JEAN Stafford is still considered by many to be the queen of Australian country music and she’s returned to Tamworth after nearly 20 years.

Jean has been working and living in the US but said she’d felt welcomed in Tamworth and might move back permanently in the future.

“Everyone has treated me just wonderfully,” she said.

“It’s refreshing to meet up with everybody like the mayor Col Murray and Kevin Anderson. Everyone has treated me with so much respect.”

While in Tamworth, Jean will be a special guest at the Roll of Renown concert tomorrow, while her major performance is at The Capitol Theatre on Sunday, January 27 at 10am.

Jean said she would take the audience right back to the Hadley Records days with Hello Love and albums including That Says It All and Let The Dance Begin.

“I won’t be doing very much of what people have heard before,” she said.

“I want it to be an up close and personal show, so the Capitol is the ideal venue.”

Jean will travel in the Toyota Country Music Cavalcade in her own Volkswagen Amarok, sponsored by Woodleys Motors and will attend the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia and red carpet in a piece from Simply Irresistible.

She will also host a barbecue in Anzac Park on Monday, January 28, at 10am to thank supporters and fans.

Jean will be raising money for the hospital, with fans and supporters asked to contribute a gold coin.

She will raffle a Jean Stafford Guitar to boost the coffers, with raffle tickets on sale at The Capitol Theatre and elsewhere around town.

The country artist who now calls the United States home, said she had noticed many changes in Tamworth in the time she’d been gone including the main street and growth of the trees as well as the growth of the city.

“I love the plaques down Peel St too,” she said.

“It will be my first time in TRECC this year.”

She said she was excited about being part of the festival again and was looking forward to meeting everyone.

“People have gone out of their way to welcome me back,” she said.

“The excitement is starting to come into town and I love how the council is really getting behind the awards.”

She said she wanted to help as many young stars as possible in the industry and was giving Penelope Somerville and her sister, Rebecca, a spot on her show, with Penelope playing in her band.

“I like to check out a few up-and-coming artists because it’s good to show them support,” she said.

Jean said there was a good chance she would return permanently, but she had things to do before she could consider that.

Back in the US, Jean plans to release her next album this year, but said she would return to the festival every year she could now.

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COUNTRY ROYALTY: Jean Stafford is back at the festival after nearly  20 years. Photo: Barry Smith 160113BSC13

COUNTRY ROYALTY: Jean Stafford is back at the festival after nearly 20 years. Photo: Barry Smith 160113BSC13


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