Former Ky Opry Standout Now on American Idol
By Donna Groves
DRAFFENVILLE, KY - Kentucky Opry owner Clay Campbell has watched Paul Jolley develop from a 13-year-old kid competing in the opry's talent contest to the young man who at 17 was hired to work summers in the opry's Stars of Tomorrow segment. Thursday night, he was among the TV viewers who watched as he sang "I Won't Let Go" during his audition for American Idol.
"I watched his performance last night and I watched the reaction of the judges, and they really like Paul," Campbell said. "Paul came off strong and confident. He sang well, he sang on pitch, he does have a good tone."
Obviously, the judges were impressed because he got to hear the words he had been waiting for: "Guess what? Welcome to Hollywood, baby!"
Campbell said it was a long time coming for Jolley. "He was in line for American Idol every year, and he was in line for America's Got Talent. He would stand in line and then he would tell me that there was like 10,000 people waiting and then he wouldn't make it, you know. So he's been there and tried out a whole lot."