Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette

American country singer
Date of Birth: 05.05.1942
Country: USA

Content:
  1. Biography of Tammy Wynette
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Personal Life and Later Career

Biography of Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette, often referred to as the "First Lady of Country," was an American country music singer. She was born Virginia Wynette Pugh near Tremont, Mississippi, the only child of William Hollis Pugh (died February 13, 1943) and Mildred Faye Russell (1922-1991). She was always called Wynette or Nettie, not Virginia. Her father was a farmer and amateur musician who died from a brain tumor when Wynette was just 9 months old. Her mother worked on the family farm and taught at a school. After Hollis Pugh's death, Wynette's mother left her in the care of her grandparents, Thomas Chester and Flora A. Russell, and went to work at a defense plant in Memphis. In 1946, Wynette's mother married Foy Lee, a farmer from Mississippi.

Tammy Wynette

Early Life and Career

Wynette began singing on her grandmother's farm in Itawamba County, Mississippi, where she was born. The farm was located on the border with Alabama, and Wynette often said that the state line ran right through their farm. As a teenager, she worked in the fields picking cotton alongside hired workers. She was raised with her aunt Carolyn Russell, who was five years older than her. Wynette sang gospel songs with her grandmother, learned to play piano and guitar, and attended Tremont High School, where she excelled in basketball. A month before graduating from high school, Wynette got married. Her husband was a construction worker, which required frequent moves. Wynette worked as a waitress, hotel desk clerk, bartender, and in a shoe factory. In 1963, she completed a hairstyling course in Tupelo, Mississippi. Her husband, skeptical of her desire to become a country singer, told her to "wake up, kid." When her child fell ill with meningitis, Wynette tried to earn extra money by performing in the evenings. In 1965, she sang on the "Country Boy Eddie" show at the local WBRC-TV studio in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1966, Wynette moved from Birmingham to Nashville with her three daughters in hopes of securing a recording contract. After an audition, producer Billy Sherrill signed her to Epic Records. When she went to her second meeting with Sherrill, she had her long blonde hair pulled up. He told her that the name Wynette Pugh didn't fit and asked her to come up with another name. He also noted that with her hairstyle, she resembled the character Tammy from the film "Tammy and the Bachelor." And so, she became Tammy Wynette. Her first hit song was "Apartment #9." In 1967, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," "My Elusive Dreams" (a duet with David Houston), and "I Don't Want To Play House" became popular. In 1968, three of Wynette's songs became hits - "Take Me to Your World," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," and "Stand By Your Man," which she wrote in just 15 minutes. In 1969, "Singing My Song" and "The Ways to Love a Man" were added to the list. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wynette's songs topped the country music charts. Seventeen of her songs reached number one. Along with Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, they reshaped the place and role of women in country music. Wynette also became the first female artist to have a million-selling album with her first greatest hits collection, released in 1969.

Tammy Wynette

Personal Life and Later Career

Soon after her divorce, Wynette briefly remarried. In 1968, she met George Jones, a popular country singer struggling with alcoholism. They got married the following year after Wynette's second divorce. Starting in 1971, they recorded several successful albums together, with "Take Me" reaching the top ten. Their marriage was tumultuous, but despite divorcing in 1975 due to Jones' alcoholism, they continued to occasionally record albums together for the next twenty years. In the early 1970s, Wynette faced serious health issues, undergoing surgeries on her gallbladder, kidneys, and vocal cords. In the mid-1970s, she made a comeback with the song "Till I Can Make It On My Own." Throughout her career, Wynette's signature song, recorded in 1968, was "Stand By Your Man," which encouraged women to support their men during difficult times. Despite criticism from feminists, the song was covered by many famous singers, including Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Dixie Chicks, and even Sir Elton John on a tribute album dedicated to Wynette. According to the country music channel MTV, this song is the most famous country song of all time. In May 1975, "Stand By Your Man" was released as a single in the UK and topped the national charts. Such a success for a country song was rare in the country that was far from the world of country music. The song was featured in films such as "Five Easy Pieces" (1970) and "The Blues Brothers" (1980). During Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, his wife Hillary stated that she was not like "those little women who stand by their men like Tammy Wynette." Wynette perceived these words as an insult, and Hillary was forced to publicly apologize to the country music diva. Throughout her life, Wynette was married five times: from 1959 to 1966 to Euple Byrd, from 1967 to 1968 to Don Chapel, from 1969 to 1975 to George Jones, in 1976 to Michael Tomlin, and from 1978 to George Richey. Wynette had three children with Byrd: Gwendolyn Lee Byrd (born in 1961), Jacquelyn Faye Byrd (born in 1962), and Tina Denise Byrd (born in 1965). With Jones, they had one child together, Tamala Georgette Jones (born in 1970).

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