Remembering Tammy Wynette 25 Years After Her Death

NASHVILLE 99, Tammy Wynette, 1977
Courtesy Everett Collection

While Loretta Lynn sang feverishly about the travails of modern womanhood, and Patsy Cline begrudgingly made magic from heartbreak, Tammy Wynette longed to sing unapologetically about the lasting love she craved. Her biggest solo hits, the lovelorn “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and “Stand by Your Man,” were released as the women’s liberation movement was heating up, the latter in particular making her an easy target for feminists. But plenty of American ladies — the same ones Lynn sang about in “One’s on the Way” — saw themselves in the songs, buying Wynette’s records and making her a star.

Wynette — who enjoyed lazy, girls-only vacations with Lynn to escape the pressures of stardom — knew of which she sang. She was a twice-divorced mother of three when she married fellow country music superstar George Jones in 1969, earning her the nickname “the First Lady of Country Music.” The duo recorded some of country’s most iconic duets, grounded in the joys and agonies of marriage, before they split in 1975.

She continued on with a string of hits in the ’80s and ’90s and but succumbed to her longtime usage of pain killers due to the severe pain she endured most of her life on April 6, 1998.

George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s story was recently back in the limelight from the Showtime series simply titled George & Tammy.

Queens of Country
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Queens of Country

November 2019

Get your toes-tapping as we give a nod to the queens of classic country music.

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