Tommy Jett first put together a reunion/fundraiser/party for area entertainers and the people they entertain almost 20 years ago. A fairly serious illness prevented him from hosting the event for a couple of years between then and now, but not even a serious car accident will prevent him from presiding over the 15th.
The annual Tommy Jett Entertainers Reunion is Sunday at Sugar's Downtown from 3 to 11 p.m. and, as in the past, dozens of local disc jockeys, musicians and TV personalities will be on hand.
Jett, known as the "Fastest Jett in the Sky" and "TJ the DJ" and for his signature "Hey Now," has been on the local radio scene since the early '60s. He also hosted or emceed dozens of concerts and shows featuring local and touring acts.
"I started this years ago as a way to see all of my friends," he said. "It's just what the name says it is, a reunion.
"If you have been to a local club, New Year's Eve party, wedding, Riverbend or any other major event around here in the last 30 years, you have very likely heard and seen many of the musicians who will be onstage Sunday," Jett said.
A private reception will be held for entertainers and media from 1 to 3 p.m. with music provided by Thom Cavin's Chattanooga Songwriters and the Carpenter's Cowboy Church Band. The doors will open for the public at 3 p.m., and local musicians will begin playing onstage.
An All-Star band of local-legend performers including Jimmy Tawater, Paul Smith, Debi D, Willie Kitchens and Craig Tyndall will perform, along with acts such as Queen B & the Well Strung Band, Dennis Brown Project, WTM Blues Band, Convertibull, Long Gone Darlings and SRO (Standing Room Only).
Radio broadcasters also will be honored during the event. Luther Massingill will be honored for his recent induction into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame and will be joined by a long list of Chattanooga disc jockeys that includes Bill "Dex" Poindexter, David Carroll, Jerry Pond, Johnny Eagle, Chip Chapman and Garry Mac.
There is no admission charge but a donation to Hospice of Chattanooga is requested. Door prizes will be awarded.
For information, visit the Tommy Jett Reunion page on Facebook.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...