On June 26, 1927, a little red-haired, green-eyed girl was born in Coalville, Tennesse, to Clay Evans Jones and Estella Mae Lavender Jones. They named her Vera Jean. She had three older brothers and later gained three sisters and another brother. Vera Jean was valedictorian of her eighth-grade class. Her love of music and singing was born and nurtured when she was young and was an abiding passion throughout her life.