Jessica Chastain flies into Chicago for a fast “White Lightnin’” appearance

Sun. February 19, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Jessica Chastain took a select audience to church on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at Kerasotes Showplace Icon while answering a few questions presented by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper. This followed a first episode screening of her latest project George & Tammy on Showtime where Chastain played the famous country crooner Tammy Wynette.

George Jones was portrayed by Michael Shannon after Josh Brolin stepped down to executive produce, and the tumultuous story follows their early lives together all the way through their eventual death, which Chastian described as co-dependant and confessed that Blanton's Bourbon helped her on her journey to discover the background of this family.

The only daughter the duo had together Tamala Georgette Jones is my age and we attended my junior high school in Tennessee for a few years. Like any young gay man, I was jealous of her rabbit fur coat of many colors and the fact she had a standup Pac-Man machine at her birthday party, which I wasn't invited to. How could I compete and survive in a school full of children born to rich country music stars?

The reality depicted in this series gives us just a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes that wasn't as glamorous as I thought back then. It was sometimes painful to keep up with the Jones' strained relationships and see them crumble after such a promise. Add in addiction, money, fame and infidelity created a recipe for disaster that the two battled for many years.

The families' personal struggles are a rollercoaster to watch over six episodes on television which are based on Georgette's book The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George. This was a passion project for my schoolmate who revealed many private moments while being respectful of her parent's legacy.

It's not all sadness and heartbreak, there's some quirky humor and southern charm to witness throughout the storytelling. From Jone's favorite Krystal hamburgers (similar to the White Castle restaurant chain for you Yankees) to Wynette's flamboyant wardrobe there are many outstanding moments to enjoy in this “One of a Kind” tale.

With over 30 number-one country hits throughout their catalogs of music allow the show runners a chance to spotlight their two subjects with the art they created. Chastain spoke about the process of singing live from correct breathing to training her nasal passages.

Hear these examples from Chastain with the 1967 release “Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad” in episode one and the 1968 Wynette hit “Stand by Your Man.”

The “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” song will not only get stuck in your head but represents a common practice in the south where cuss words are spelled out to not offend anyone. It is an “H-E-double L-” of a clever idea from the songwriter.

Jones first hit came in 1951 with “Why Baby Why” and continued with showstoppers like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “I Always Get Lucky with You.”

It was the tracks together such as “We're Gonna Hold On”,“Golden Ring” and “Near You” that truly resonated with their fans who pictured a storybook romance between them. George & Tammy fracture that fairytale and finally gives the truth about what transpired.

Folks can see in this series that these celebrities are cut from the same cloth as the common person no matter how high society tends to place them on a pedestal.

All episodes of George & Tammy are now available to stream at