April 18

Inspired by Hardships “’Til I Get It Right” by Tammy Wynette


Inspired by Hardships “’Til I Get It Right” by Tammy Wynette 1

Did you know that Tammy Wynette was married five times with different men? In 1973, she was with her third husband George Jones.

The fact that four marriages failed was often a source of sorrow for her. She joked on occasion that “’Til I Get It Right” was the story of her life. When Tammy Wynette first heard it, she was reminded of all the dumb mistakes she had made.

Where the Song Came From

The song’s inspiration was from songwriter Larry Henley, a one-time member of the rock band “The Newbeats.” He was shifting from a pop career to country when he conceived “’Til I Get It Right.” Then Henley thought of the idea on a plane flying back from London with the Newbeats. He then teamed with a songwriter friend of his, Red Lane, to finish the song.

Two Different Stories

Larry Henley and producer Billy Sherrill have different stories about how “’Til I Get It Right” arrived at Sherrill’s office. Sherrill claims he first heard it during a “guitar pull” on the Cumberland River. Sometimes producers attend these events in order to come up with new songs for their artists and Billy Sherrill happened to be at this one. Red Lane got up and sang “’Til I Get It Right,” and Sherrill asked him who had the publisher’s rights on it. Lane said, “nobody, I just wrote it.” Billy told him, “I’ve got to have it for Tammy.” Sherrill insists they recorded it later that same week.

Larry Henley’s version of the story differs considerably. He says that neither Billy Sherrill nor Tammy Wynette was particularly interested in “’Til I Get It Right.” Henley relates that Red Lane was taking flying lessons during that time, and wanted to go flying on the day Tammy Wynette was recording. Henley told Red, “why don’t we stop by the studio and play the song for Tammy, then go fly.” And that’s exactly what they did, but according to Henley, neither Sherrill nor Tammy “Wynette” liked the song. George Jones happened to be there. He liked it and supposedly convinced them to record the number. Whether it was Jones or Sherrill who made the decision, it was a good one. “’Til I Get It Right” became Tammy Wynette’s twelfth solo single to reach number one. It did so on March 10, 1973.


Billy Sherrill, Larry White, Red Lane, Tammy Wynette

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