Virginia Wynette Pugh, a famous American country singer, was born in Itawamba County, Mississippi, on 5 May 1942. From the 1950s until the 1980s, she was referred to be the “first lady of country music,” and her 1968 hit song “Stand by Your Man” is probably her most famous piece.
Tammy Wynette is one of country music’s most popular and successful singer-songwriters. Throughout her career, she had a number of hits, several of which have since been regarded as genre classics. Her compositions highlight Tammy Wynette’s strong voice, emotive delivery, and ability to effectively convey heartbreak, love, and strength via her music.
She continues to be a recognizable character in country music, and her songs are still cherished by listeners all over the world.
Wynette was a beautician who performed in nightclubs and sang on Porter Wagoner‘s nationally broadcast country music television show. She was married one month before she graduated from high school in 1959.
She divorced her husband and returned to Nashville, Tennessee. There she got a recording contract with Epic Records in 1966.
Tammy Wynette worked a variety of low-wage jobs to support her family, including factory worker, waitress, barmaid, and receptionist. She worked as a beautician and hairdresser and afterward began singing in nightclubs to make additional money for her daughter Tina, who had spinal meningitis.
Wynette sang on the Country Boy Eddie Show on WBRC-TV in Birmingham in 1965 while she was employed as a hairdresser in Midfield, Alabama. This led to musical performances with Porter Wagoner.
She moved from Birmingham to Nashville, Tennessee, with her three kids (Gwen, Tina, and Jackie), in order to pursue a music deal.
Starting Her Music Career
She auditioned to sign with producer Billy Sherrill after being continually rejected by all of the other music companies. Sherrill was first unwilling to contract her, but after realizing that he needed a singer for ‘Apartment No. 9’, he made up his mind to do so. Sherrill was fascinated with Wynette’s performance and chose to contract her to Epic Records in 1966.
Late in 1966, Wynette’s debut song, “Apartment #9,” was released, nearly breaking the country’s Top 40 in early 1967. “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” a smash success that peaked at number three, came after it. The song served as the spark for a string of Top Ten singles that lasted until the decade’s end.
After “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” was a hit, “My Elusive Dreams” became her first number-one single in the summer of 1967, and “I Don’t Wanna Play House” did the same later that year.
In 1968 and 1969, a series of No. 1 singles followed, including “Take Me to Your World,” “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Stand by Your Man,” “The Ways to Love a Man,” and “Singing My Song.”
Ornella Vanoni re-recorded her 1971 hit “The Wonders You Perform” in Italian as “Domani e un altro giorno,” which helped it become even more successful in that country.
In addition to her solo hits, Wynette dominated the country music charts with her duets with Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Lynn Anderson, and Dottie West.
Wynette’s Personal Life and Period of Success
- Wynette and George Jones began dating in 1968, but their relationship ultimately ended up being quite rocky. Starting in 1971, Wynette and Jones released a number of duets, the first of which was the Top Ten single “Take Me,” which was equally successful as any of their solo singles.
- Wynette wed George Jones, a famous country music performer, in 1969. As “Mr. and Mrs. Country Music,” they made a number of popular duet recordings. Despite divorcing in 1975, the two continued to collaborate on recordings, including on Wynette’s final album, One (1996).
- For her performance of “Stand by Your Man,” which is now considered by critics as a “classic” or Country music “standard,” Wynette received the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1969.
- After Tammy’s Greatest Hits was certified by the RIAA in 1970, she received a gold record (calculated to albums that sell more than 500,000 copies). The album received platinum record certification (given for records selling more than 1,000,000 copies) in June 1989.
- As part of the soundtrack for his 1970 movie Five Easy Pieces, director Bob Rafelson utilized a number of her songs. Before 1987, when Reba McEntire won the prize for the fourth time in a row, Wynette had held the record for the most consecutive victories for over 20 years.
- Songs like “There Are So Many Ways to Love a Man,” “My Man,” and “Singing My Song” that Wynette released as a solo artist helped to maintain the story of Wynette as a lady who overcame difficulties because, presumably, she was much loved. In reality, because of Jones’ long absences caused by intoxication and aggressive behavior, their marriage started to fall apart very immediately.
- Her final No. 1 song was the duet “Near You” (1977) with George Jones; her final No. 1 single was the single “You and Me” (1976). Aside from the number one slot, she was in the top 10 until 1980, with successful songs including “Let’s Get Together,” “One of a Kind,” and “Womanhood” in 1977 and 1978 respectively.
Up and Downs of Her Career
Early in the 1980s, her career slowed down. Wynette still had hit songs, but it took her longer to get to the Top Ten than it had in the previous decade. This pattern continued into the 1990s and the remainder of the decade.
Despite having fewer singles than in the past, Wynette was still a well-known performer and a favorite at concerts. She started experiencing a number of health issues in the 1980s, including bile duct irritation.
Prior to her passing on April 6, 1998, she visited the hospital a number of times in the middle of the 1990s.
Songs and Albums
Wynette sang hundreds of songs during her peak time. Let’s talk about Wynette’s famous songs and albums chronologically.
|Songs Name||Album Name||Releasing Year|
|I Don’t Wanna Play House||Take Me to Your World / I Don’t Wanna Play House||1968|
|Golden Ring||The Best of George Jones||1975|
|Apartment # 9||Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad||1967|
|Stand by Your Man||The Heart of Tammy Wynette||1969|
|Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad||Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad||1967|
|Two-Story House||Together Again||1980|
|Til I Can Make It on My Own||Til I Can Make It on My Own||1976|
|Take Me||We Go Together||1971|
|We’re Gonna Hold On||The Country Music Hall of Fame Presents Tammy Wynette||1995|
|My Elusive Dreams||My Elusive Dreams||1967|
|Near You||The Best of George Jones||1975|
|He Loves Me All the Way||Tammy’s Touch||1970|
|The Ceremony||Me and the First Lady||1982|
|Something To Brag About||We Go Together||1971|
|Run, Woman, Run||Tammy’s Touch||1970|
|Satin Sheets||Tammy Wynette||1974|
|No Charge||George & Tammy & Tina||1975|
|Let Her Fly||Honky Tonk Angels||1993|
Awards and Achievements
For her performance of “I Don’t Wanna Play House” in 1967, Tammy Wynette won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. In 1969, her song “Stand by Your Man” took home the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Tammy’s Greatest Hits, her 1970 album, earned a Gold record for selling more than 500,000 copies. The album earned Platinum status in 1989 after selling 1,000,000 copies.
Wynette became just the second female vocalist to get the Female Vocalist of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1968.
The next two years in a row, she was given the honor. The Country Music Hall of Fame honored Wynette in 1998.
Last Days and Funeral
Tammy Wynette died on April 6, 1998, at the age of 55, after heart failure brought on by a blood clot. She had struggled with health issues for years that led to several hospital stays, around 15 major operations, and an addiction to medications.
Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Nashville became her last resting place. She was reburied at Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum in 1999 after the body was unearthed.
- The First Lady of Country Music, Tammy Wynette was on her way to being the first performer in the genre to achieve platinum status.
- In the 1960s and 1970s, Tammy Wynette set the standard for women who sang country music.
- With 21 #1 songs, she dominated the country music scene, with “Stand By Your Man” (1968) being her most popular and career-defining tune.
- Tammy Wynette became the first female performer in her genre to sell a million albums after overcoming extreme poverty.
- Tammy Wynette was at the peak of her career because of the way her amazing voice and emotions allowed her to express her agony in her songs.