Friday, August 7, 2009

Jackie Kennedy, Role Model

The Blushing Hostess Entertains is honoring Jackie Kennedy Onassis' birthday (she would have been 80 now) by asking readers to share their stories of grace. I hope you’ll stop by and comment on Grace in Everyday Life: A blog gathering in honor of Jackie.

What does Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939 in the unincorporated West Tennessee community of Nutbush) have to do with Jackie Kennedy?

When Tina famously departed an abusive marriage (and, in doing so, potentially ended a successful entertainment career), she met with Cher, who she felt might offer insight into building a solo career from the ashes of a shattered marriage to a Svengali-type husband.

In an interview, Cher spoke of how she’d looked forward to meeting Tina. Anyone who’d seen one of Tina’s stage appearances, live or on TV, would have known what to expect … a bold, wildly dressed and coiffed woman, with a raspy voice as sexy as the long legs and high heels she wore as she strutted her stuff in provocative up-to-there skirts

Cher almost didn’t recognize her visitor, soft spoken and dressed in a cream-colored silk blouse and dark wool gabardine slacks, sitting with hands folded and ankles demurely crossed. Being Cher, she verbalized her surprise.

Tina patiently explained that what she did on stage was an act, a performance. She told Cher she had always admired Jackie Kennedy, and that she patterned her life after that of her idol.

I think the story speaks volumes in explaining the impact Jacqueline Kennedy had on people’s lives. Anna Mae, an African-American woman, daughter of a farm overseer and factory worker, escaped first a life of picking cotton (which she hated!) and then an abusive marriage to begin a solo singing career that led to being hailed as the “Queen of Rock and Roll.” She had looked around and selected Jackie as the role model she most aspired to emulate.

It reminds me of those bracelets that were popular a few years ago. WWJD they said … “What Would Jesus Do?”

For generations of women, in the US and abroad, that could just as easily have stood for “What Would Jackie Do?”


  1. Bill, I love this! I have always admired both Tina Turner and Jackie, but I have never heard this story. Very touching. I love it!
    Great post!
    All the best,

  2. You know something else Jackie and Tina have in common is that other than the media circus that surrounded their major events in life they stayed discreetly under the radar. No head shaving, no drug issues, no night club parties.
    They keep their private lives private. As they should be.
    Tina lives in Switzerland I think? She protects her privacy. She is in a relationship and no one even knows about it. (I only know because she calls me to talk about it. I can't tell you the details because that isn't WJWD)

  3. I have never heard this story. Jackie Kennedy was (and still is in my opinoion) a role model for women of all ages. She is the epitome of grace, style and how to behave under pressure. I'm glad you mentioned Tina Turner and those women and their music! Have a great weekend! Do you plan on doing any yard saling at the longest yard sale this weekend?

  4. Hi Bill,

    Fabulous post and I too had never heard this story. I wish the so called "stars" and people in the public spotlight would come even close to carrying themselves like the great Jackie and Tina!

    Oh what I would do to have a fabulous pair of legs like Tina...sigh!!!

    Have a great weekend!


  5. Love the story, Bill. Never heard it before either. I could go on for ages about Tina and Cher, they are both so amazing. Jackie's legacy is that she will forever be a role model for many generations to come. She is the epitome of style, sophistication and grace under pressure.

    Great post!


  6. This is an amazingly beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes.

    Thank you, Bill!

  7. Wonderful post, Bill.
    Jackie and Tina both were amazing people, in their own ways. Cher...I LOVE Cher. My all-time favorite comedy hour show on tv was the Sonny and Cher Show. I laughed so hard and that in itself,is priceless. Cher is (or was) a fabulous singer but a magnificent actress.

  8. Now, I would never have guessed Tina Turner modeled her style after Jackie Kennedy...very interesting. I love to watch Tina in concert...that woman is amazing!

  9. Fabulous post! I've never heard this story - what a treat. Growing up, mom frequently would reference Jackie Kennedy as the standard of class and good taste.

  10. Terrific post! Thanks for sharing this great story.

  11. Evening, Dear Bill! Oh, what a wonderful post! I too, didn't know this about Tina Turner! What a nice story! Not too many 'real' ladies around these days! Jackie Kennedy seemed so soft and demur, but she was really a very strong sort.
    Now I've never seen Tina perform, except on TV, but last summer we were in Las Vegas and went to Cher's show and she was unbelievable! She looked so good ( I know she's been chopped on big time, but who ever chopped on her did a great job :) She's a little irreverent, but funny as can be.
    Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. Hi Bill..what a great post, I love the story..I've never heard or read this story before and I'd never have guessed that Tina idoled Mrs Kennedy. Thank you for sharing this here with us.
    Have a nice day and may your weekend be filled with joyful

  13. I have always been so intrigued by Jackie K., I collect books about women that have made an impact on the world and she definitely has done that. I didn't know this story, very interesting, I so admire Tina's energy and longevity, and what can you say Cher, well she is just Cher. . .

  14. Hi Bill! Jackie is such a classy woman. I think a lot of people admire her and I am one of them. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to you joining in Sightseeing Sat. someday.....Christine

  15. What a great story! I always loved Tina Turner, and what a surprise to hear she tried to base her life on what Jackie Kennedy would do! The world certainly lost a great lady when Jackie passed away.

  16. Hi Bill,

    What a lovely story you shared with us.
    It is fascinating to hear that Tina Turner modeled her life, on Jackie O. Who would have thought the cream blouse and slacks. You really can't judge a book by it's cover.

    thank you for visiting my blog.
    Have a great weekend

  17. Bill, you write as well as you create tablescapes! I truly enjoyed the photos of these classic women of our time. Yes, Jackie was one to emulate for her elegance.

  18. I always admired Jackie for her great style and dignity. She faced many hardships and she carried herself with such grace and stoicism. This is a wonderful story. I am sorry I didn't get back to you before this, but yes indeed the glasses are Libbey silver leaf..I collect them too! I love all vintage Libbey. Royal fern is also one of my favorites. I would buy more, but I am running out of room. I keep loving your blog, Bill..


  19. Hi Bill,
    Hope you’re having a good weekend. Are you close to the 100 mile garage sale? It sounds like fun.
    Great post, all of these women had such style and managed to survive living in the glare of the limelight. I loved Tina’s big comeback song “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and can’t forget her crazy hair! The things I remember most about Jackie O are her huge sunglasses, pink pillbox hat & soft childlike voice. Cher was another good one who had moxie. I used to love to see what Bob Mackie design she would wear on Sonny & Cher.

  20. Hi Bill, I have an award for you. If you could stop by and pick it up, that would be great!

  21. What an interesting story, I had never heard it before. All three are awesome women. Thanks, Bill.


  22. Bill, that is truly fascinating. Jackie Kennedy really did have a wide-spanning influence. Would that we could all be more like her.


    Sheila :-)

  23. That's interesting about the aluminum. I have a few pieces made out of it, and know I think I can appreciate them more. Linda

  24. OMG BILL! I love this story, takes you to tell it so beautifly Bill. I'm so impressed because I too adore Jackie, Cher and Tina...what a trio! Nothing like Jackie, her class and she was such a hostess and a true American icon. Thank you so much and keep on telling us stories like this. XO XO XO