Tammy Wynette

Induction Year: 2009

Birth Name: Virginia Wynette Pugh

Birth Date: 05-05-1942

Place of Birth: Itawamba County, Mississippi

Known for her powerful, soaring voice and for her often-troubled, rags-to-riches life story, Tammy Wynette was also a hit writer who conveyed as much nuance and emotion in her compositions as she did in her singing. A three-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and a Country Music Hall of Famer, Wynette was not a prolific songwriter, but when she put pen to paper she helped bring to life some of country music's most indelible songs, including "Stand by Your Man," "'Til I Can Make It on My Own," "These Days I Barely Get By" and "Two Story House."

Raised on a Mississippi cotton farm, not far from Elvis Presley's hometown of Tupelo, Wynette worked the fields as a child, but her father passed along his love of music to her, and he helped her to see music as a way out of a life of labor. She earned a beautician's license but saw hairdressing as a way to ensure that her bills were paid while she pursued a singing career, and while in her early 20s she began traveling to Nashville in hopes of securing a recording contract. In 1966, after a year of rejections, she moved to Nashville as a divorced mother of three.

In Nashville, Epic Records producer Billy Sherrill helped transform her life. He signed her to Epic in 1966, and he persuaded her to adopt the professional name of Tammy Wynette. He also produced her records, and they co-wrote several of her hits. In the first four years of Wynette's career, she won two Grammys and three CMA Female Vocalist crowns. The peak of her stardom coincided with her tumultuous, six-year marriage to iconic vocalist George Jones. Through a union marred by arguments and by Jones' hard drinking, Jones and Wynette sang five Top 20 duet hits during those years and five more afterwards.

Wynette and Sherrill often told the story of writing Wynette's signature song, "Stand by Your Man," in fewer than 20 minutes, while in the studio. That song went on to become a monumental and often-covered hit. She often said, "I spent 15 minutes writing 'Stand by Your Man,' and a lifetime defending it." In addition to Sherrill, Wynette's songwriting collaborators included Norro Wilson, Earl "Peanut" Montgomery and Wynette's fifth husband, George Richey.

She died in her sleep in 1998 at age 55, and her Ryman Auditorium funeral was televised worldwide on CNN.

"'Til I Can Make It on My Own"

(written with George Richey, Billy Sherrill)

Tammy Wynette1976 #1 country, #41 adult contemporary, #84 pop
Kenny Rogers & Dottie West1979 #3 country
Faron Young1988 
Martina McBride1998 
Billy Gilman2000 
Kate Campbell2003 

"A Lifetime Left Together"

George Jones & Tammy Wynette1971 

"Another Lonely Song"

(written with Norro Wilson, Billy Sherrill)

Tammy Wynette1974 #1 country
Andy Williams1974 
Lorrie Morgan2005 

"Holdin' On (To the Love I Got)"

(written with Norro Wilson, Carmol Taylor)

Barbara Mandrell1972 #27 country

"I Just Heard a Heart Break"

(written with George Richey, Jerry Taylor)

Tammy Wynette1983 #46 country

"I Stayed Long Enough"

Billie Jo Spears1970 #30 country

"It's So Sweet"

(written with George Jones)

George Jones & Tammy Wynette1971 

"Old Fashioned Singing"

(written with Earl Montgomery)

George Jones & Tammy Wynette1972 #38 country

"Reach Out Your Hand"

(written with Billy Sherrill)

Tammy Wynette1972 #2 country

"She Should Belong to Me"

(written with George Jones)

George Jones1975 

"Singing My Song"

(written with Billy Sherrill, Glenn Sutton)

Tammy Wynette1969 #1 country, #75 pop
Lynn Anderson1969 
Tommy Cash1969 
Jimmy Dean1971 
Vikki Carr1997 

"Stand by Your Man"

Tammy Wynette1968 #1 country, #11 adult contemporary, #19 pop
Timi Yuro1969 
Lynn Anderson1969 
Bobby Vinton1969 
Kitty Wells1969 
Billie Jo Spears1969 
Dottie West1969 
Loretta Lynn1969 
Tracy Nelson1969 
Candi Staton1970 #4 R&B, #24 pop
Wanda Jackson1970 
Patti Page1970 
Henry Mancini1970 
Jody Miller1971 
Boots Randolph1972 
Tammy Wynette1975 
David Allan Coe1981 #88 country
Lyle Lovett1989 #82 country
Roseanne Barr1990 
Tina Turner1991 
Elton John1998 
Queen Esther2004 
Daniel O'Donnell2005 
Tammy Wynette (disco remix)2012 

"That's the Way It Could Have Been"

Dolly, Tammy and Loretta1993 

"The Ways to Love a Man"

(written with Billy Sherrill, Glenn Sutton)

Tammy Wynette1969 #1 country, #18 adult contemporary, #81 pop
Kitty Wells1969 
Lynn Anderson1970 
Vikki Carr1982 

"These Days (I Barely Get By)"

(written with George Jones)

George Jones1975 #10 country
Daryle Singletary2007 

"Together We Stand"

(written with Don Chapel)

David Houston & Tammy Wynette1967 

"Two Story House"

(written with David Lindsey, Glen Tubb)

George Jones & Tammy Wynette1980 #2 country

"We Sure Can Love Each Other"

(written with Billy Sherrill)

Tammy Wynette1971 #2 country

"You'll Never Grow Old (To Me)"

(written with Earl Montgomery, Charlene Montgomery)

George Jones1973 

"You're Everything"

George Jones & Tammy Wynette1971 

Tammy Wynette

Induction Year: 2009