When this dark-haired beauty graced the country music scene back in 1952, she quickly captured the hearts and admiration of anybody and everybody. Country listeners were mesmerized by Kitty Wells songs that showcased her full talent and love for iconic lyrics, which brought her to stardom and paved the way for the powerful female voices that followed.
Meanwhile, others were pretty shocked the first time they saw her singing about honky tonks and cheating husbands. Grand Ole Opry did not even allow her to sing her song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” on the radio broadcast. Still, it dominated the country charts and sold millions of copies – proving that Wells could sell records and jam-pack arenas by belting out country songs from a woman’s perspective.
Today, Kitty Wells‘ influence continues to reverberate around. It’s not for nothing that she became recognized as the first female country star and named the Queen of Country Music. Now, let’s walk down memory lane to check out some of Wells’ greatest hits.
1. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
This timeless tune was Wells’ brave response to Hank Thompson’s hit “The Wild Side of Life,” giving cheating men some of the blame for causing women to stray. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” raced to the top of country charts and helped Wells earn a female artist’s first, top-ranked single. The record even crossed over, peaking at No. 27 on Billboard’s pop chart.
2. One by One
After making a breakthrough in 1952, Wells came back to the top of the country chart two years later with an awe-striking duet with Red Foley. “One By One” helped her build a repertoire of Top 10 hits, a chart presence that extended through the decades.
3. Making Believe
When Wells released “Making Believe” in 1955, it quickly skyrocketed atop the country charts. Today, the melancholy ballad about not getting over a former lover became one of the staples in the genre, consistently ranking on the list of greatest country songs.
A growing list of artists has also covered the song, including a remarkable duet of Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.
4. Searching (For Someone Like You)
Written by Pee Wee Maddux, “Searching (For Someone Like You)” peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Country And Western Juke Box chart. It’s actually one of Wells’ longest-running hits, logging a remarkable 34 weeks.
5. Hey Joe!
This popular song written by Boudleaux Bryant was originally recorded by country singer Carl Smith in 1953 and brought the song to No. 1 for eight weeks. Later that year, Wells recorded an answer to the ballad with the same title.
6. Release Me
“Release Me” has been recorded by various artists ever since it was released in 1949. It achieved better success with versions by Patti Page, Ray Price, and of course, Kitty Wells.
7. Heartbreak U.S.A.
This is among Wells’ most successful releases as a solo artist, being her third and final No. 1 on the country chart. “Heartbreak U.S.A” remained at the top spot for four remarkable weeks within its twenty-three-week chart run.
8. All the Time
While it only peaked at No. 18 on the country music charts when it was released as the B-side to her more popular single, “Mommy for a Day,” this is one of her most notable hits. Country singer Jack Greene covered the song and took it atop the chart.
9. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
Originally performed by Lulu Belle and Scotty for the 1944 musical film Sing, Neighbor, Sing, this is one of the first country music songs that gained massive popularity in the pop genre. Wells released her version as a duet with Red Foley in their album of duets.
10. Pledging My Love
This blues ballad was originally published in 1954. Nearly two decades later, Wells released her version and used it as the title song of an album.
Other Kitty Wells Songs That Will Ignite Your Passion For Classic Country Twang
Check out some more of Kitty Wells’ hits that have become a staple in the classic country genre.
Indeed, Kitty Wells songs are some of the best throughout the decades.