The creation of “Satin Sheets” was quite a Cinderella story for songwriter John Volinkaty. He was an amateur writer from Minneapolis. The song was the very first one he had ever written. Volinkaty got the idea for it while shopping in a Red Owl store. Thirty minutes later, the entire song was written. “Satin Sheets” was copyrighted by MCA Music in 1970. Three years later it found its way to Pruett, who was recording for the label.
Story Behind the Name Jeanne
While “Satin Sheets” was Volinkaty’s first attempt, Jeanne Pruett had been working in the record industry for quite some time. Born Norma Jean Bowman in Pell City, Alabama, she married Jack Pruett. They moved to Nashville in 1956. Jack spent fourteen years as a guitar player in Marty Robbins’s road band. In 1963 Norma Jean began writing songs specifically with Robbins in mind. Her composition “Count Me Out” went to No. 14 for Marty in 1966. five years later, Pruett grabbed her own recording deal and adopted the professional name “Jeanne”. It was probably to avoid confusion with Norma Jean Beasley who had formerly been part of the Porter Wagoner entourage.
The first four singles of Jeanne Pruett failed to attract much attention. However, the fifth, “Satin Sheets” was an overwhelming success. It made a sensational jump from number eight to number one in a single week on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. It stayed on the top spot for two weeks before falling. Two weeks after that, it returned for another week at the top. In the meantime, the record reached a respectable No. 28 for a high-water mark on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
“Satin Sheets” immediately sold over 800,000 copies. In July, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton announced to the audience at the Grand Ole Opry – to Jeanne’s surprise – that she had become the latest Opry member. Now in her 44th year with the show, she continues to delight Opry audiences with her classic every Saturday night.