HUMANS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY: Judy Conn
Editor’s note: This is one of an occasional series of articles that draws attention to ordinary Cherokee County residents and their extraordinary lives.
Murphy – From her cozy little home, Judy Conn tells of her exciting life.
“I was born and raised in East Haven, Conn. After high school, I went to airline school and began work at Pan Am Airlines in New York, taking their special agents, travel agents, booking Olympians and celebrities. My roommate and I decided to go to California. We only got to Greenville Tenn., where her family lived, and stayed about a year,” Conn said.
“I needed a job. I called the manager of the local radio station. I lied and said I had experience on the air and became a disc jockey at WGRV in Greenville. After a year, we decided to go back to New York. I called the No. 1 radio station in New York and was hired in the program department. I started to do voice-overs and commercials. I became the first female producer of a radio show in New York City.
“After that, the chief engineers at the station told me their friend had a publishing company and needed singers. I applied and he said, ‘I think you’ll do to sing for my label.’ I recorded six songs for Clara Records and MGM records, plus appeared on local television in New York. Someone from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand (a popular television show at the time) saw me. I went to Philadelphia and was on his show. My record hit the Billboard charts in New York at No. 25.
“I got married when I was 25, and we moved to Florida. My singing career just faded out. I got into the retail fashion business and became a broadcast director for one of the major department stores. That led to my additional broadcasting career doing television shows, hosting and producing shows. I did a cooking show, where they called me the Daffy Chef.
“From that point, I started to write food articles. I did a lot of television, a lot of shows and interviewed celebrities who came to town. I’ve interviewed people like Della Reese and the Bellamy Brothers. I did about three or four different shows for Channel 8, an NBC affiliate in Tampa, Fla.
“I owned a talent agency and booked talent for commercials, radio, TV and movies. A partner and I also owned a performing arts academy and I continued writing articles. I wrote for the St. Petersburg Times newspaper and a Tampa magazine.
“When I was in New York, I got to meet Jayne Mansfield and we ate dinner together. I did cooking with Gary Burghoff. I was on a game show called To Tell the Truth and was the voice of the Bealls store in Florida. My first husband and I owned two TV stations, one in Montgomery, Ala., and one in Columbia, S.C.
“I would like to be known for being a good person and a good friend to many. I try to live by the Golden Rule because I think that is so important. I like doing things for people.
“My parents have shaped me into who I am today. They’re gone now, but I think about them everyday.
“I like everything about Murphy. We came upon this place by accident, and the nice thing is I have met so many nice people. All of my neighbors watch out for me. This is a community that is so solid and friendly. I am here for five months out of every year, and the rest I’m in Florida.
“Murphy is a unique place. People are very friendly and kind, and they all watch out for one another,” Conn said.
If you would like to nominate someone for “Humans of Cherokee County,” please email firstname.lastname@example.org.