History is Here: Episode 14, The Music in Her Life: The Remarkable Career of Betty Jones

It takes a rare combination of natural talent, hard work, and a little bit of luck to go from singing as a hobby to becoming an international star in just a few short years, especially at the age of 41. However, that’s exactly what opera singer and Wilton resident Betty Jones did, when in 1971, she started singing professionally for the first time. Betty spent the next three decades delighting crowds across the globe, but always found time to give back to the community that helped launch her career.


On this episode of History is Here, Associate Curator Nick Foster had an opportunity to speak with the Betty’s daughter Janet Shipp and her husband Eugene “Doug” Jones to discuss the fascinating and unconventional life of the opera star. They shared their thoughts on Betty’s love of music, the hours spent at the Wilton Playshop, as well as being the first African American couple to buy a home in Wilton in 1954.