Tammy Wynette said that if she had to make a choice between husband and career, she would choose the music first. As Arts columnist Brian Brennan reports in his new time capsule piece, she revealed this to him just as she was about to divorce her fourth husband, Nashville real estate executive Michael Tomlin. An excerpt of excerpt of Brennan’s Brief Encounters column, Troubled First Lady of Country Music: Tammy Wynette (subscription*):
Tammy Wynette was no longer standing by her man when I saw her perform at a nightclub in 1976. At least, she was no longer singing with ex-husband George Jones, with whom she had continued to record – for contractual reasons – after their divorce in 1975. At age 34, Wynette was going it alone as a solo artist with a portfolio of autobiographical songs in which, she said, “every line is true.” Many of them chronicled the twists and turns in her stormy seven-year relationship with Jones.
Her trademark songs, delivered with the force of an air-raid siren, spoke of loneliness and heartbreak, and included such titles as D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Another Lonely Song, It’s All Over, I Don’t Wanna Play House and Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad. One song, The Bottle, was about Jones’s drinking. It was said that on one occasion Wynette had confiscated Jones’s car keys only to later find him driving to the liquor store on a motorized lawnmower! … log in* to read Troubled First Lady of Country Music: Tammy Wynette.
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