Many people nowadays do not know how women of 1950s would go to great lengths to fight misogyny and men’s futile perception of women. Thank you for the boldness and awesomeness of Kitty Wells and Jay Miller, Hank Thompson received a much-deserved ‘Shut Up’ after his popular hit, The Wild Side of Life who depicted honky tonk angels, women who dance with honky tonks as women who were unfaithful and would likely just go to hell. When Jay Miller penned the rebuttal song, It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ it later found a rightful singer in Kitty Wells who sang the song like she’s never been so proud to be a woman in 1950s.
It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, Kitty Wells
Many did not know this but Kitty Wells singing this song in 1952 was rather difficult and too much for the men’s ego. Kitty Wells was banned to sing this song in Grand Ole Opry and it was banned in NBC’s Prince Albert program. One of the country singers before, Emmylou Harris dished in an interview how Kitty Wells struggled to become that woman who sings a song about women empowerment:
“Back then, it wasn’t really considered proper for a young singer who wasn’t married to ride around the country with a bunch of guys — even if it was perfectly innocent and they were the guys in the band, In the case of Kitty, she had to be married to Johnny Wright, so it was OK for her to be on the bus with Johnny Wright and the rest of the guys, because she had a chaperone: her husband.”
However, the song was determined to make a lasting impression as fans proved to be a more powerful force. ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,’ made a record to be the first song recorded by a woman as a solo artist to be on the top charts.
Watch the music video here: