Although Nashville native Dan Jewell says he knows only three chords on his old Silvertone flattop, he and his wife Joyce once cut a demo of his songs in the famous Woodland Studio, where artists as diverse as Robert Plant, Roy Acuff, and Mother Maybelle Carter have recorded through the years. Jewell grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and country music on the radio and has been a mystery fan for many years, especially the more hardboiled writers like Ross Macdonald, Sue Grafton, and Michael Connelly.
Jewell worked his way through college as a construction worker for an electrical utility, a pharmacy clerk, a short order cook, and as a tall and skinny shopping mall Santa Claus. He completed his undergraduate work at Martin Methodist College and Middle Tennessee State University, and has two graduate degrees in English from George Peabody College (M.A., Ed. S.). He taught writing, literature, and/or theater at Southeastern Louisiana University, Eastern Kentucky University, Columbia State Community College, and Volunteer State Community College where he received the Outstanding Faculty Award for 1989-90. Jewell was a co-editor of “Number One,” Volunteer State’s literary journal, for five years, and he directed many of the college’s theatrical productions, including “Spoon River Anthology,” “The Odd Couple,” “Bus Stop,” and “Antigone.” He also served as Dean of Humanities at Volunteer State from 1991-1999. The Jewells live on five wooded acres in Sumner County near Nashville.