Tammy Wynette

From ArticleWorld

Virginia Wynette Pugh, later known as Tammy Wynette, was a country music singer and songwriter known as the "First Lady of Country Music" and has one of the biggest selling singles by a woman in the country music industry with "Stank by Your Man."

Wynette was born on April 5, 1942 in Mississippi. Wynette was raised by her grandparents and learned to play the guitar and piano at a young age. Wynette married her first husband a month before she graduated high school. They moved around and she worked at odd jobs before going to cosmetology school and becoming a hairdresser. Wynette left her husband right before the birth of their child because he did not support her in her dream to become a country music singer. Her baby had spinal meningitis and Wynette earned extra money for hospital bills by singing at local nightclubs and bars.

She moved to Nashville in 1966, and after being turned down by everyone, Epic Records finally signed Wynette. Wynette began recording and releasing hits one after the other. Some of these include "Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad", "I Don’t Want to Play House," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E", and her trademark song, "Stand By Your Man". She claims she wrote "Stand By Your Man" in only 15 minutes. In 1969, her album Tammy Wynette’s Greatest Hits went gold making her the first female country artist to accomplish this feat.

She married again right after her divorce was finalized. Even though she was married at the time, she began a relationship with the legendary country singer (and alcoholic) George Jones. Eventually she divorced her second husband and married Jones. The marriage could not withstand his drinking habit though, and they parted ways in 1975. They produced one daughter, Georgette, from the union. They recorded many duets during the marriage and continued recording well into the 1990’s, even after the divorce.

Wynette’s private life was not anything easy. She had a total of five husbands and four children. She had a very public relationship with actor Burt Reynolds during the 1970’s. During the late 1970’s she was kidnapped in Nashville, driven out of tow, beaten by a masked man, and released. No one ever identified the man., but her daughter published a book claiming she was covering up for her husband blackening her eye.

Wynette had her fair share of heartache, but through it all she continued to release chart topping country hits. Along with Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton she defined the role of female singers in country music and helped open doors for all of the female singers to come.