Tammy Wynette

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Tammy Wynette was a country music singer-songwriter from the United States, best known for her hit track “Stand by Your Man.” She was dubbed the “First Lady of Country Music” because she wrote some of the genre’s most popular tunes. She had 23 No. 1 hits in the 1960s and 1970s, when she was at the height of her singing career. She took up singing to help support her children financially and pay for Tina’s medical costs when she was diagnosed with spinal meningitis. She not only had solo singles, but she also recorded duets with female singers, which helped to improve the image of women in country music at the time. Eventually, her collaboration with George Jones, a country music artist, paid off, and she earned a string of hit albums and songs in the 1970s and early 1980s. ‘Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,’ ‘My Elusive Dreams,’ ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E,’ ‘The Ways to Love a Man,’ ‘Run, Woman Run,’ ‘My Man,’ ‘You and Me,’ ‘Near You,’ ‘Good Lovin’, and ‘Golden Ring’ were among her best-selling songs. Various prizes have been given to her solo and duet singles.

Childhood and Adolescence

Tammy Wynette was born Virginia Wynette Pugh on May 5, 1942, in Tremont, Itawamba County, Mississippi, to William Hollice Pugh, a farmer, and Mildred Faye Pugh, a local musician. Her father died of a brain tumor when she was eight months old, and she was left at her maternal grandparents’ house while her mother went to work at a defense production in Memphis during WWII.

While growing up with sharecropper grandparents, she became acquainted with a variety of musical instruments. Tremont High School was where she finished her education. She enrolled in American Beauty College in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 to pursue her dream of becoming a hairdresser.

Career of Tammy Wynette

To support her family, she worked different blue-collar occupations such as receptionist, waitress, barmaid, and factory worker. She worked as a hairdresser and beautician before switching to nightclub singing to help support her daughter Tina, who was suffering from spinal meningitis. She made her television debut in 1965 on WBRC-‘Country TV’s Boy Eddie Show,’ followed by appearances on ‘The Porter Wagoner Show.’

After being rejected by practically every recording company, she traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1966 and successfully auditioned for producer Billy Sherrill. In December 1966, she released her debut song, “Apartment No. 9.” ‘Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,’ published in early 1967, hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequently, ‘My Elusive Dream’s and ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’ soared to top ranks.

‘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’ were among the No. 1 singles in 1968 and 1969. Her 1971 single “The Wonders You Perform” was a hit in Italy, and Ornella Vanoni re-recorded it in Italian as “Domani e un altro giorno.”

She commanded the country charts with multiple duets with female country singers, including Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Lynn Anderson, Dottie West, and Dolly Parton, in addition to solo songs. She collaborated on a number of hit duets with George Jones, her musical idol. ‘Take Me’ (1971), ‘We’re Gonna Hold On’ (1973), ‘Golden Ring’ (1976), ‘Southern California’ (1977), and ‘Two Story House’ (1977) were a few of them (1980).

Her final solo No. 1 success was ‘You and Me’ (1976), while her duet with George Jones, ‘Near You’ (1977), was her final No. 1 song. Aside from the top place, she remained in the top ten until 1980, with hit songs including ‘Let’s Get Together,’ ‘One of a Kind,’ ‘Womanhood,’ and ‘No One Else in this World’ (1979).

In 1981, Annette O’Toole starred in the TV movie ‘Stand by Your Man,’ which was based on her life. Her career slowed in the early 1980s, despite hits like ‘Starting Over’ (1980), ‘You Still Get to Me in My Dreams’ (1982), ‘Another Chance’ (1982), and ‘A Good Night’s Love’ (1982) kept her in the top 20. (1983). ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ (1985), ‘Higher Ground’ (1987), and ‘Next to You’ (1989) were her best-selling albums in the late 1980s.

She starred as Darlene Stankowski, a beautician and singer, in CBS’s serial opera ‘Capitol’ in 1986. Throughout the 1990s, she released ‘Heart Over Mind’ (1990), ‘Honky Tonk Angels’ (1993), ‘Without Walls’ (1994), ‘Girl Thang’ (1994), and ‘One’ (1995), but her career was on the slide.

Her collaboration with British electronic group ‘The KLF’ on the song ‘Justified and Ancient (Stand by the JAMs)’ was an unexpected smash on the dance charts in 1991. In 1992, it topped the charts in 18 countries.
She continued to provide live performances until 1997.

Major Projects of Tammy Wynette

‘Stand By Your Man,’ which she released in 1969, topped the country charts and reached No. 19 on the Billboard mainstream charts, eventually becoming the best-selling single by a woman in country music history.
‘He Loves Me All the Way’ (1970), ‘Run Woman, Run’ (1970), ‘Bedtime Story’ (1972), ‘My Man’ (1972), and ‘Til’ I Get It Right’ (1972) were among her many No. 1 singles during the 1970s (1973).

In 1976, she released ‘Til I Can Make It on My Own,’ which became one of her hallmark songs, topping the US country single charts and reaching No. 84 on the mainstream single charts, and was claimed to be inspired by her recent divorce from Jones.

 Achievements & Awards

For ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House,’ she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1967.
In 1969, her tune “Stand by Your Man” received the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
In 1970, her album ‘Tammy’s Greatest Hits’ was certified gold for selling more than 500,000 copies. The album was certified Platinum in 1989 after selling over one million copies.

She became the second female vocalist to win the ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1968. She won the prize for the next two years in a row. She was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

Personal History and Legacy

She married Euple Byrd, a construction worker, in 1960 when she was 17 years old. Gwendolyn Lee Byrd (1961), Jacquelyn Faye Byrd (1962), and Tina Denise Byrd were the couple’s three daughters (1965). In 1966, they divorced.

In 1967, she married country singer Don Chapel, but they divorced in 1968. In 1969, she married her third husband, George Jones, who was the legal father of her three daughters. Tamala Georgette Jones, the couple’s daughter, was born in 1970.

Her fourth marriage to real estate executive Michael Tomlin, which began in July 1976 and ended in September 1976, lasted only 44 days. In 1978, she married George Richardson, better known as George Richey, a singer-songwriter. Her health began to deteriorate in the 1970s after she developed a chronic bile duct inflammation, for which she was hospitalized and underwent 30 surgical procedures before dying.

On April 6, 1998, she died in her sleep at her Nashville home from heart failure caused by a blood clot. She was laid to rest in Nashville’s Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Her remains, however, was removed and reburied in 1999 at Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum.

Estimated Net Worth

Tammy Wynette was a country music singer from the United States with a net worth of $900,000 at the time of her death. Her smash “Stand by Your Man” is possibly her most well-known song. Until the end of the 1970s, all but three of Wynette’s songs would chart in the top ten.