Musician raising funds to defray medical expenses before meeting biological father for first time

A Dripping Springs family’s discoveries through a DNA kit that was told in the News-Dispatch last year resulted in a planned meeting between musician Jim Luketich and the now 90-year-old biological father he had never met – who is also a musician.

But three days before Luketich was scheduled to fly to Nashville for the meeting, he was diagnosed with leukemia, throwing a wrench into the plans as well as into his financial outlook.

To help defray medical costs, Luketich’s band, Midnight Flyer, will be among those to perform on Jan. 25 from 2 to 5 p.m. at a “video shoot and jam” at The Last Chance Bar & Dance Hall, (formerly the 290 West Club) located at 12013 West, U.S. 290.

Donations are $10 or $15 with a meal ticket. For musicians, donations are $10 with a meal ticket.

Luketich’s historical journey, as well as that of his wife Mary, were told by former News-Dispatch Editor Moses Leos III in the newspaper’s April 11, 2019 edition.

The couple’s first discovery, after receiving the DNA testing kit as a holiday gift in 2018, was that Mary had been adopted at birth, and that she had a half-Chippewa lineage. Mary Luketich was able to locate her biological sister, who then arranged for her to meet their mother. She also came to know “numerous cousins, nieces and nephews she had no idea existed,” the story said.

The couple’s second surprise came when Jim heard from a woman who claimed to be his biological sister, who told him the DNA testing company had contacted her after discovering their connection. That’s when he learned of his father Wade Jackson, who had a brief affair with Luketich’s mother when he was stationed in Germany following World War II.

“It was a ‘ships passing in the night’ kind of thing,” Luketich told the newspaper, adding that his mother never told him who his biological father was.

Likewise, Luketich’s existence had been unknown to his father. Both shared a deep connection with music which provided yet another surprise.

His father “was a bandleader, musician and worked for years with the Grand Ole Opry Summer Touring Show,” Jim Luketich wrote in an email. “He wrote the classic country song ‘Don’t be Angry,’ recorded by Donna Fargo. Wade said that song put a lot of grits and gravy on the Jackson table.”

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