Hailey Whittersfinally got to meet Janice, the inspiration behind her incredible song “Janice at the Hotel Bar” from her 2020 second studio album The Dream, at TidalWave music festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey this weekend.
If you haven’t heard it before, stop reading this now and go look it up. It’s longtime been my favorite Hailey Whitters song, and you’ll be glad you did. That’s a promise.
Anywho, “Janice” was written by Hailey along with her friend and frequent co-writer Lori McKenna, which was inspired after one of their friends, who isn’t in the music business, told them the story about meeting a woman named Janice at a hotel bar, hence the title.
It’s a list of incredible advice that resonates so deeply with me, and I think plenty of other women and people who feel the same way, so it’s really cool that we can finally put a face to the name of such a badass woman.
I mean, Hailey comes out swinging with some of Janice’s little pearls of wisdom from the very first verse on:
“She believes in face cream at the Walgreens and ruby-red lips She’d take a vodka over dessert, sugar goes straight to your hips And she don’t smoke cigarettes ’cause it ain’t lady-like She’ll cuss like a sailor, she ain’t afraid to fight
She mows her own lawn and talks on her landline She’s got a granddaughter, still single, can’t say she’s surprised Eats sardines by the can and berries from a vine Be careful with the truth, girl, but don’t you ever lie”
Ain’t that the truth…
Hailey even told Songfacts that Janice heard the song years ago, and was a huge fan from the first listen:
“She lives in Jersey and has heard the song. When we released the song, everyone started hashtagging #FindJanice, and her granddaughter reached out.
She commented on my social media and said, ‘I’m Janice’s granddaughter, I’m with her right now and she loves the song.’”
And earlier today, Hailey shared video of her meeting Janice side stage and even bringing Janice out to meet the crowd, where she of course sang the song for Janice and got pretty choked up in the process.
Janice seems like such a sweetheart, and I’m sure this is a memory that both her and Hailey will cherish forever:
“The thing that I’ve always loved about country music is its storytelling. Real stories about real life, about real people. This song was inspired by a friend of mine who met a woman that I had never met before.
An 80-something year old women that she met at a hotel bar, her name is Janice and I have been waiting many years to get to meet this woman… this amazing woman and tell her how much she has inspired me, inspired this song, inspired so many people around the whole world who’ve heard her song, who have heard her message.
Turns out today is my lucky day, ‘cuz Janice is here. A living legend… I’m gonna try not to cry. I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you.
Take a few minutes out of your day to watch their meeting and listen to the song… it just doesn’t get better than this: