OBITUARY: Jay Jackson


Jay Jackson of Hendersonville passed away peacefully on February 8, 2024 at the age of 88.

He was born April 14, 1935 in Haskell, Oklahoma to Rev. Alton and Edith Jackson.

He met the love of his life, Jean Jackson, and was smitten from her first smile. They married and had a son, Jay D. Jackson, that was his pride and joy.

Jay was heralded over the years as a pioneer and mainstay in the world of country music. After serving in the Marine Corps, Jay had a varied career, mostly in the hospitality and music industries. Jay spent time in a gospel quartet, the Song Fellows singing tenor.

He started his career in Nashville with John T. Benson as the first employee with Heart Warming Records, then joined the Hank Snow Enterprises. Jay’s love of hospitality took him into the restaurant business for a while, opening a Dipper Dan’s Ice Cream Shop, and creating and operating both Luigi’s Pizza and Papa John’s Pizza. Jay was able to blend his love of the restaurant business and music at Papa John’s by having a stage where he and other musicians performed.

Ultimately, Jay founded Screen Play, Inc. along with his wife Jean and son Jay. At Screen Play, Jay worked alongside some of the biggest names in entertainment over the years by providing merchandise and support.

Jay was the epitome of a gentleman, a true friend, and an amazing storyteller. He had a heart for his fellow man, was a supporter of the underdog, and loved everyone he met. He was an incredible artist, talented songwriter, and overall talented musician. He was truly a renaissance man.

Visitation with the family will be held on Monday, February 12 from 4 pm-7 pm at Hendersonville Memory Gardens, 353 East Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075 and Tuesday, February 13 at 12 pm with the service following at 1 pm at the Chapel of First Baptist Church Hendersonville, 106 Bluegrass Drive, Hendersonville, TN 37075.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Jay was preceded in death by his wife Jean Jackson, his parents Rev. Alton and Edith Jackson, his brother Gene Jackson, and sister-in-law Janette Jackson. Jay is survived by his loving son, Jay D. Jackson, his nieces Darla (Brian) Hughes and Jana Jackson, along with countless friends who he always made feel like family.


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