Scrub that tune: Senators’ wives both played in washboard band

While many lawmakers might be concerned about dirty laundry, probably not so for Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Their clothes are likely as spick-and-span as can be. That’s because the spouses of both Georgia Republicans once played in a college washboard band.

Dianne Isakson’s squeaky-clean instrument of choice was the washtub, the senator’s office tells us.

ADVERTISEMENT
As first mentioned by McClatchy Newspapers, Mrs. Isakson played in the Phi Mu sorority’s washboard band while a student at the University of Georgia.

Isakson heaped high praise on his wife’s musical abilities, proudly proclaiming in an email to ITK, “Dianne was the best washboard player I ever met.”

The couple met after being set up on a blind date by Isakson’s younger brother.

Chambliss’s wife, Julianne, happened to scrub-a-dub-dub in the same musical group as Mrs. Isakson. The senator’s office reveals Mrs. Chambliss played the sticks.

And don’t get it twisted — amateur hour this was not. The band comprised about 18 women who toured across the state to play at other college campuses. ITK can also reveal this exclusive detail: The washboard band, whose members wore picnic plaid skirts with white blouses, even showed off their abilities on national TV and cut an album!

 Neither lawmaker would confirm if his significant other passed along some of her washboard-strumming skills.