Jenny Tolman Wants Jeannie Seely to Be the Mayor of Her Fictional Town, Jennyville
Even though Jennyville -- the whimsical, imaginary world where up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jenny Tolman's songs take place -- doesn't exist in a literal sense, the singer says that as far as she's concerned, one of its most central characters is a real-life country star.
"I've actually been wanting Jeannie Seely to be the mayor of Jennyville!" Tolman says with a laugh. "I saw her at the Opry the other night. My dad manages a comedian that performs there every month or so, and so I've known Jeannie a little bit, just through my dad.
"She came up to me at the Opry," Tolman recounts, "and was like, 'Jenny, I saw you the other day on TV and you sounded so good!' I was like, 'I love you!' She's amazing."
Seely reminds Tolman of the characters that populate Jennyville, and for good reason. The fictional neighborhood is centered around strong, confident women who are patterned in part after Dolly Parton, and Jennyville's characters are just as fearless when it comes to breaking gender stereotypes in country music as they are when it comes to hoop earrings or dramatic outfits. For Tolman, Seely is a role model.
"She's a Jennyville character for sure. She was the first woman to ever wear a miniskirt on the Opry [stage]! Did you know that?" Tolman gushes. (In fact, Seely was the first woman to host an Opry show, too.)
Whenever it comes time for Tolman to take her turn stepping into the hallowed stage's famous circle, she says that Seely has already offered to be there beside her. "She was like, 'When you do your Opry debut, I wanna be the one that introduces you,'" Tolman recounts.
Tolman's debut album, There Goes the Neighborhood, dropped on Friday (July 19).
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