Jennifer Keel Faughn is a Bakersfield-based singer and economic development official. Before participating in a discussion of what Bakersfield sounds like today, she talked in the Zócalo green room about why she was nicknamed “Froggy” as a kid, what her two vocations have in common, and what reality TV show she would be on.
Did you have any nicknames as a kid?
My dad called me Froggy because I used to jump around a lot.
What do you wish you had the nerve to do?
Talk on a Zócalo Public Square panel! And jump out of an airplane.
Hot, medium, or mild?
Medium in life, and hot on stage. [Laughs.]
What’s the last album you listened to from start to finish?
Bakersfield by Vince Gill.
What reality TV show would you be on?
The Amazing Race. [Who would be your partner?] Probably my sister, Mary.
What’s the strangest place where you like to sing?
I don’t sing in the shower. … In the kitchen.
What’s hanging on your living room walls?
A big mirror. A cowboy picture. Some metal art. And then some antique harnesses and cowboy regalia.
What would your theme song be?
“I Want to Live” by John Denver.
What do singing and economic development have in common?
Well, you’re marketing yourself, your songs. When you’re doing economic development, you’re singing the praises of the community. When you’re singing onstage, you’re selling whatever song you’re singing at the time, making it believable, making it like you’ve been there.
What do you wake up to?
My dog barking. I just got a new French bulldog; it’s like having a new baby. And my husband bringing me coffee. That’s even better.