Tammy Wynette ‎– Stand By Your Man 1969


Tammy Wynette ‎– Stand By Your Man 1969
Tammy Wynette ‎– Stand By Your Man 1969

Tammy Wynette’s third album, Stand By Your Man (released in early 1969) certainly doesn’t mess with the image Wynette was solidifying with the title song, her fourth solo No. 1 country single. Virtually every tune is about a broken family, the biggest tearjerker in a whole set of ’em being “Don’t Make Me Go to School,” which tells the story from a fourth-grade child’s point of view. On “There’s Quite a Woman,” one of two bonus tracks, Wynette worries about whether her daughter will be able to cut it as a mom and wife. For all its limited scope (and interest), the CD does recall how much of her early work managed a ’40s and ’50s pop feel, despite stone country songs and instrumentation. And Wynette’s voice already has that irresistible throb, though it’s not as expansive as it would become, and producer Billy Sherrill has to hide her shortcomings under bombastic production.



Stand By Your Man



It’s My Way



Forever Yours



I Stayed Long Enough



It Keeps On Slipping My Mind



My Arms Stay Open Late



I’ve Learned



Cry, Cry Again






If I Were A Little Girl



Don’t Make Me Go To School



Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette (born Virginia Wynette Pugh; May 5, 1942 – April 6, 1998)  whose 1968 hit ”Stand By Your Man” established her as a queen of country music, died on Monday in her sleep at her home in Nashville. She was 55.

She recorded more than 50 albums and sold more than 30 million recordings. Ms. Wynette, who had a history of health problems, is believed to have died of a blood clot, said her publicist, Evelyn Shriver.

”Stand By Your Man” established Ms. Wynette in the role of a long-suffering but determinedly loyal wife, holding the family together even when her husband strayed. Her voice had a husky center, with melancholy balanced by determination; she sounded like an Everywoman with unexpected reserves of strength and affection. ”I’m not the best singer in the world, just the loudest,” she once declared.

Working with the producer Billy Sherrill, with whom she wrote her biggest hit, she also became the standard-bearer of an elaborately orchestrated Nashville sound, with pedal steel guitars underlined by strings and backup choruses.

She became the first female country singer to have a million-selling album, and she had 20 No. 1 country hit singles in her career. But her own life was more turbulent, and less stable, than the lifelong attachments her songs promised.

She was born in 1942 in rural Itawamba County, Miss., named Virginia Wynette Pugh, and raised by her grandparents on a farm where she picked cotton. She was drawn to music, and learned to play guitar before her teen-age years, when she joined her mother in Birmingham, Ala.

A month before her high school graduation in 1959, she was married for the first time, to Euple Byrd. She had three daughters with him: Gwen, Jackie and Tina. In 1963, she enrolled in beautician’s school in Tupelo, Miss.; she was divorced in 1965. Working by day as a beautician and at night as a singer in clubs, she began appearing on a local television program, the ”Country Boy Eddie Show,” then on Porter Wagoner’s nationally syndicated country television show.

In 1966, she moved to Nashville and auditioned for Mr. Sherrill, who signed her to Epic Records. He renamed her Tammy Wynette and recorded some honky-tonk-flavored songs: the ballad ”Apartment No. Nine” and the uptempo ”Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” her first Top 10 hit, in 1967. ”I Don’t Wanna Play House” reached No. 1 on the country charts and brought her a Grammy Award.

The three No. 1 hits she had in 1968 — ”Stand By Your Man,” ”Take Me to Your World” and ”D-I-V-O-R-C-E” — established both her public image and her style, concentrating on weepers about holding a marriage together or declaring her unending love. ”Stand By Your Man” sold more than two million copies. In it, she sang: ”Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman, giving all your love to just one man. You’ll have bad times and he’ll have good times doin’ things that you don’t understand. But if you love him, you’ll forgive him even though he’s hard to understand. And if you love him, oh be proud of him ’cause after all he’s just a man.”

She had married the songwriter Don Chapel in 1967, but the partnership lasted only a year. It ended when Ms. Wynette walked out on her husband to live with George Jones, the revered and, at the time, hard-drinking country singer. According to Mr. Jones’s autobiography, ”I Lived to Tell It All” (1996), he had fallen in love with Ms. Wynette while they were on tour together.

One night, visiting her at home, he walked in while she and her husband were having an argument. After kicking over a dining room table, Mr. Jones declared his love for her, and Ms. Wynette and her three daughters left Mr. Chapel that night. A day later, Mr. Jones and Ms. Wynette flew to Mexico for a quick divorce, only to find out on their return that Tennessee did not recognize Mexican divorces. Mr. Chapel sued Mr. Jones for alienation of affection and Ms. Wynette for divorce. But Mr. Jones’s lawyers discovered that Mr. Chapel and Ms. Wynette had married illegally, because she had married too soon after her previous divorce.

As ”Stand By Your Man” moved from country radio stations to the pop Top 20, Ms. Wynette married Mr. Jones in 1969, and they began billing themselves as ”Mr. and Mrs. Country Music.” They moved to Lakeland, Fla.

”Stand By Your Man” brought Ms. Wynette a second Grammy Award as well as recognition from the Country Music Association; she was named female vocalist of the year in 1969 and 1970. She and Mr. Jones had a daughter, Georgette, in 1970. But the marriage was a troubled one. In her 1979 autobiography, ”Stand By Your Man,” Ms. Wynette wrote that one night he menaced her with a rifle while in a drunken rage, firing in her direction as she ran from him and then shooting up their Lakeland mansion; his autobiography denies the account. The next morning, he was straitjacketed and hospitalized for 10 days.

From 1971 to 1980, she recorded duets with Mr. Jones. Among them were songs like ”We’re Gonna Hold On,” which appeared amid reports of their marital troubles and rumors of impending divorce. The duo had No. 1 country hits with ”Golden Ring” and ”Near You.” But their marriage could not survive Mr. Jones’s drinking and the couple’s increasingly bitter quarrels. In 1975 they were divorced, although they continued to record duets. Ms. Wynette married Michael Tomlin in 1976, then divorced him after 44 days. Two years later, she married George Richey, with whom she wrote the song ” ‘Til I Can Make It on My Own.”

Ms. Wynette’s career fluctuated in the 1980’s, with Top 10 hits including ”Another Chance” in 1982 and ”Sometimes When We Touch,” a duet with Mark Gray, in 1985. She acted in the soap opera ”Capitol” in 1986. But she also spent part of the year at the Betty Ford Clinic fighting an addiction to prescription painkillers. She was recognized as a major figure in country music, with younger performers including Emmylou Harris and Vince Gill appearing on her albums, but her songs reached the Top 20 less often.

>Yet her voice was immediately recognizable. In 1992, she had an unexpected international hit when she sang ”Justified and Ancient” with the English electronic dance group, the KLF. The song reached No. 1 in 18 countries.

In 1992, her name and best-known song entered the Presidential campaign when Hillary Rodham Clinton, stressing that her defense of her husband against charges of adultery was more than routine, said in a ”60 Minutes” interview: ”I’m not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette.”

Ms. Wynette demanded, and received, an apology, declaring that Mrs. Clinton had ”offended every true country music fan” and every person who has ”made it on their own with no one to take them to a White House.” After the apology, Ms. Wynette performed at a Clinton fund-raiser. ”Her trademark style has filled our hearts and made her a legend,” President Clinton said yesterday.

In 1993, Ms. Wynette made an album, ”Honky-Tonk Angels,” with Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. She was hospitalized in 1994 with an infection that left her in critical condition for a week. But she returned to touring and recording soon afterward, including a guest appearance on Elton John’s album ”Duets.” Her last recordings reunited her with Mr. Jones to sing duets on the 1996 album ”One.”

In addition to her husband, George Richey, she is survived by five daughters, Jackie Daly, Gwen Ignaczak and Tina Jones, all of Nashville, Georgette Smith of Alabama and Deirdre Richardson of Los Angeles; a son, Kelly Richardson of San Francisco and seven grandchildren.