Tammy Wynette

Dublin Core


Tammy Wynette


Franklin County, Red Bay, Music, Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Tammy Wynette (May 5, 1942-April 6, 1998)

Virginia Wynette Pugh was born May 5, 1942 in Tremont, Mississippi, but she spent much or her childhood just across the state line in Red Bay, Alabama. After her father died when she was nine months old, she lived mostly with her grandparents on a farm that spanned the state line. As she grew up, she worked on the farm, taught herself to play guitar, served as pianist at the Providence Baptist Church, and sang in school programs. Just before graduating high school, Virginia married Euple Byrd, with whom she had three children. Byrd was often unemployed and moved the family around, so Virginia worked as a waitress. When the couple split, she moved to Birmingham to live with relatives while she worked as a beautician and sang in WBRC’s popular Country Boy Eddy television show. In 1965, she made several trips to Nashville and moved there a year later. She auditioned for Alabama native, Billy Sherrill, with Epic Records who quickly signed her and changed her stage name to Tammy Wynette.

Wynette’s first hit, “Apartment #9,” was the first of twenty-one No. 1 hits. Her hits included: “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Stand By Your Man,” “Singing My Song,” “He Loves Me All the Way,” and “Woman to Woman.”

Her marriage to George Jones from 1969 to 1975 produced many hit duets including “The Ceremony,” “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Two Story House,” “We’re Not the Jet Set,” and “Golden Ring.”

She married songwriter-producer George Richey in 1978 and released an autobiography Stand By Your Man in 1979. Wynette continued to record hits through the 1990s. She teamed up with Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn in 1993 for their landmark "Honky Tonk Angels" album. In 1995, she and her ex-husband Jones, released a reunion album.

Wynette died in her sleep April 6, 1998, of a pulmonary blood clot; she was 55.

She was known as the “First Lady of Country Music.” Wynette was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Country Music Hall of Fame shortly after her death.

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Joy Caitlin Monroe, University of North Alabama


“Tammy Wynette.” Alabama Music Hall of Fame. (2016) http://alamhof.org/inductees/timeline/1993/tammy-wynette/


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey