Tammy Wynette Biography
Birth Name: Virginia Wynette Pugh
Birthplace: Itawamba County, Mississippi
Year in Country Music Hall of Fame: 1998
She was called the Heroine of Heartbreak, and rightfully so. Many of Tammy Wynette's hits dealt with classic themes of loneliness, divorce and the difficulties of male-female relationships. Her songs reflected her often-troubled romantic life (she married five times). But her willingness to share her joys and sorrows in song and her passionate, tear-in-every-
note delivery endeared her to millions.
Fans were equally fascinated by her rags-to-riches life story. Born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Itawamba County, Mississippi, on May 5, 1942, she was raised mostly by her maternal grandparents after her father died. Amid the drudgery of farm work, Tammy dreamed of becoming an Opry star, taught herself to play the guitar, served as pianist at the Providence Baptist Church and sang in school programs.
Shortly before graduating high school, Tammy married Euple Byrd, with whom she had three children. For a while they lived in a log cabin with no indoor plumbing and only a wood-burning fireplace for cooking and heat. Since Byrd was often unemployed and moved the family a lot, Tammy worked as a waitress. After separating from Byrd and moving to Birmingham to live with relatives, she worked as a beautician and began singing on a local TV program.
Beginning in 1965, Tammy made several trips to Nashville, looking for a record deal. In 1966, she moved to Music City and auditioned for Epic Records producer Billy Sherrill, who signed her and changed her stage name to Tammy Wynette. Beginning with "Apartment #9" in 1966-67, the Wynette-Sherrill team ultimately racked up twenty #1 hits by 1990.
During the late 1960s, Tammy began to explore women's viewpoints in song. "I Don't Wanna Play House" and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" voiced the agonies of women and children torn by family break-ups. "Stand By Your Man," which advised women to forgive wayward men, drew criticism from feminists, but Tammy defended it as an expression of triumph over adversity.
Her winning streak extended into the mid-'70s with hits such as "Good Lovin' (Makes it Right)" and "Woman to Woman." Tammy herself cowrote top-selling songs like "Singing My Song" and "Till I Can Make It On My Own." During these years her stormy marriage to George Jones (whom she wed in 1969 and divorced in 1975) riveted as much as the couple's hit duets, including "We're Gonna Hold On, " "Two Story House" and "Golden Ring."
Tammy finally found lasting happiness after marrying songwriter-producer George Richey in 1978. But her autobiography Stand By Your Man (1979), a 1981 TV movie about her life and subsequent news stories revealed her continuing troubles with illness, harassing telephone calls, financial difficulties, break-ins and vandalism at her home, death threats and being abducted.
Still she survived, and went on to make more great music in the 1990s. In 1992 she teamed with the British pop act KLF to create the international dance-pop hit "Justified and Ancient." The next year, she joined forces with Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn for their landmark album Honky Tonk Angels.
Tammy Wynette died on April 6, 1998. Three days later fans and members of the music industry honored her with a televised memorial service broadcast from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Wynette won election to the Country Music Hall of Fame later that year.
TNN/Music City News Living Legend 1991
CMA Female Vocalist of the Year 1970
Academy of Country Music Top Female Vocalist 1969
CMA Female Vocalist of the Year 1969
Grammy Best Female Country Vocal Performance 1969
CMA Female Vocalist of the Year 1968
Grammy Best Female Country & Western Vocal Performance 1967
Music City News Country Most Promising Female Artist of the Year 1967
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an unmistakable voice was Tammys' | Reviewer: Carl E. Kling | 2/25/13
I loved her music the first time i heard her sing her song "Apartment #9" after that just totally fell in love with all of her music, i sure did drink a lot of beer listening to her sing of heart aches and troubles back in 1967. I am 69 years old now, and i don't drink very much alcohol anymore(due to health) problems and medications that i have to take now. Tammy was taken from us way to soon, but every now and then i will slide in a Tammy Wynettes Greatest Hits and i will sit and drink a cold one just for old time sakes and let her take me back to my younger days. Tammy is gone, but her music and songs will be with me forever. R I P TAMMY WYNETTE.
Country Queen | Reviewer: Tammy Copas | 11/27/10
This woman was a phenom. Her music and her song writing ability was over the top. I feel like she was one of the pioneers for all country female artist. There will never be another female entertainer as great as Tammy Wynette. She is truly missed but not forgotten.
Reverence for an Icon | Reviewer: Chip Douglas | 9/25/07
I must preface this review by saying "In my opinion", Tammy Wynette is undeniably one of country music's greatest female vocalists. Her style is unmistakable and heart wrenching. Had I ever met her, I most certainly would have fallen to my knees and kissed her feet. No one could "break" her voice like that.
Awesome Tammy | Reviewer: Steven | 7/17/07
No one ever dıd or ever wıll sıng ıt the way Tammy dıd! She was an awesome sınger and person. I have personally been blessed by her musıc. I love you Tammy!
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