Today in Country Music, June 29, featuring Tammy Wynette
Today in Country Music, June 29.
On this day in 2011, The Voice judge Blake Shelton was joined on the show by his wife, Miranda Lambert…Lambert performed a duet with Dia Frampton, the finalist for "Team Blake."
Today in 2007, officials at Wisconsin's Country Fest inked a one million dollar deal with Kenny Chesney to have him play at the 2008 event.
Garth Brooks buried a copy of his CD The Hits under his star on the Hollywood walk of fame today in 1995.
And on this day in 1968, Tammy Wynette's classic "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." began a three week stay at #1.
Just a year after Wynette scored her first hit with "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," she had already gained a reputation for catering to the female perspective in country music that, according to country music writer Kurt Wolff, audiences badly craved. Her repertoire already included songs that urged understanding and forgiveness, but critics noted she had also become adept at singing songs of heartbreak. In Wolff's words, "(W)hen the end of the road was reached, she also spoke plainly of the hard issues facing modern day couples."
Recorded in 1968, "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" is a woman's perspective on the impending collapse of her marriage. The lyrics begin with an old parenting trick of spelling out words mothers and fathers hope their young children will not understand, they (the children) being not yet able to spell or comprehend the word's meaning. In this case, the soon-to-be-divorcee spells out words such as divorce, Joe (the name of the woman's four-year-old son), hell and custody to shield the young, carefree boy from the cruel, harsh realities of the world and the ultimate breakup of his mother and father.
Country music historian Bill Malone wrote that Wynette's own tumultuous life (five marriages) "encompassed the jagged reality so many women have faced." Therefore, he asserts that Wynette identified so well with "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"; her rendition, Malone wrote, is "painfully sincere—there is no irony here—and if there is a soap opera quality to the dialogue, the content well mirrors both her own life and contemporary experience."
Wolff, meanwhile, hailed the song as "tearjerking as any country song before or since. It approaches parody, but stops just short thanks to the sincerity of Tammy's quivering voice."