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Lew Jetton (born 1959, Humboldt, Tennessee) is an
American blues guitarist and singer, who also spent many years as a
meteorologist and local television personality. He was born in Humboldt and
raised near Trenton, Tennessee.
After graduation from college at Middle Tennessee State University in 1981, he worked in radio at WIRJ (AM)/WZDQ-FM in Humboldt, Tennessee from 1982–1983, moving to television as a weathercaster/news reporter at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee. He also spent a short stint as a sports anchor at WBBJ, before moving to WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky in 1989 as weekend news anchor/meteorologist. Jetton is a second cousin of the late Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nat Caldwell of the Nashville Tennessean. Although very popular with viewers, Jetton left WPSD to work in marketing.
In 1994, while still working in local TV, he began playing guitar with the Blues band 61 South, based in Paducah, Kentucky, which featured, among others, Col. J.D. Wilkes, of Th' Legendary Shack Shakers and The Dirt Daubers. Upon the departure of "Fast" Layne Hendrickson, the lead singer of the band, Lew was recruited to become the frontman of the band, while mentored by friend and Chicago Blues Legend Snooky Pryor in nearby Ullin, Illinois.
Working and touring as a regional band in the Midwest and Mid-South, Lew Jetton & 61 South shared billings with blues greats including Luther Allison, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Chuck Berry, Lil Ed and The Blues Imperials and many more. Lew Jetton & 61 South released two albums: State Line Blues (2000) and Tales From A 2 Lane (2006). State Line Blues was the fourth best Independent Blues Release in the United States by Real Blues Magazine. Tales From A 2 Lane was selected as the Blues Album of the Year by the Kentucky Blues Society, a "Pick to Click" by XM Satellite Radio Bluesville (Channel 74), which kept Jetton originals "Waffle House Woman" and "I Been Cheated" on their hot playlist throughout most of 2006. Tales From A 2 Lane was also selected one of the top Independent Blues Releases by Real Blues Magazine.
In 2007, the band re-released 2000's State Line Blues, which was also picked up as a "Pick to Click" on XM's Bluesville, with "Gettin' Colder," "State Line Blues" and "Homegrown Tomato" receiving the most airplay. Lew Jetton & 61 South continue playing festivals and clubs and touring extensively in the Midwest and Mid-South. occasionally venturing to other regions.