When Tammy Wynette died in 1998, she was recognized as the First Lady of Country Music. Tammy Wynette songs did not only tell the story of her relationship troubles while trying to raise children on her own, but she was also telling the story of countless other women — the single mother, the neglected wife, the future divorcee, she was their voice of empowerment and encouragement.
Let’s take a look at some of the best hits from the hairdresser-turned-glittering-country-superstar.
1. Stand by Your Man
Out of all of Wynette’s hit songs, none is more renowned and successful than her 1968 single “Stand By Your Man.” It reached No. 1 on the country chart, a spot it held for three consecutive weeks and was a big crossover hit.
What makes Wynette stand out is how she has always tailored her songs for female listeners. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” for instance, finds the country singer perfectly describing the trials and tribulations women go through during a divorce as they try to protect their children from the strain of their new reality.
3. I Don’t Wanna Play House
When a couple makes the difficult decision of ending their marriage, the heartbreaking separation will affect everyone around, especially the children trapped in the middle. Wynette sings about the painful impact divorce has on children in “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” which turned out to be her first No. 1 hit on the country chart.
4. Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad
The song that made Wynette an instant country star is this 1967 breakthrough hit, “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” which was released as the second single off her debut album. The feisty song about a woman warning her husband that a good girl may just end up going bad as well, climbed all the way to the third spot of the country chart.
5. Your Love
Wynette’s career may have started slowing down in the early ’80s, but her 1987 comeback album, which featured some collaborations, reminded everyone of her incredible vocal power. This includes “Your Love,” with background vocals by Ricky Skaggs.
The singer said the song is dedicated to her fans, who endlessly supported her. “Never would have made it without your love,” she said.
6. Sometimes When We Touch
First released by Canadian pop-rock artist Dan Hill, the song was notably covered by Wynette with country music artist Mark Gray. It became Wynette’s first top ten hit since 1982.
7. We’re Gonna Hold On
After recording three duet albums together, Wynette and her one-time husband, country legend George Jones, finally scored a No. 1 smash with “We’re Gonna Hold On” – a song about perseverance of love despite the challenges, something that Jones and Wynette knew about all too well.
8. ‘Til I Can Make It on My Own
Wynette called “‘Til I Can Make It On My Own” her favorite of all the songs she had written and recorded. Guess she wasn’t alone as the song about a woman who often looks back to her old love spent eleven weeks atop the charts.
9. Singing My Song
Released as the first single from her compilation album, the song turned out to be another No. 1 country hit for Wynette, holding that spot for two weeks.
10. Two Story House
Five years after their divorce, Wynette and Jones released another song that reflects that state of their marriage, singing about a couple who worked toward putting together their beautiful dream home – sadly, it wasn’t enough to save their marriage.
11. Golden Ring
“Golden Ring” is another successful duet of Jones and Wynette that was released after their divorce. Like most of their songs, it tells the story of a broken marriage.
12. My Elusive Dreams
This time, Wynette teamed up with another country singer David Houston for a song about a woman who followed a man throughout the country as he tried and failed to find happiness. Jones and Wynette also recorded the track in 1973.
13. Apartment No. 9
While the song may have only enjoyed minor success on the country chart, it definitely introduced Wynette to the country music scene after it was released as her debut single. It also took home the Song of the Year award during the 1966 Academy of Country Music Awards – the first song to win such an award.
14. He Loves Me All The Way
Wynette touched on another familiar theme in this No. 1 country hit: the ways a man confused a woman – like making her temper rise with jealousy yet loving her all the way the next day.
15. Let’s Build a World Together
The love ballad finds Jones and Wynette singing about a blossoming romance, but in reality, it was the year that their marriage started crumbling, with Wynette filing for divorce for the first time.
Some More of Tammy Wynette Songs That Will Make or Break Your Hearts
Indeed, when it came to wringing tears out of her listeners, the First Lady of Country Music simply had no competition. Check out some more songs of Tammy Wynette that will surely touch your heart.
Without a doubt, Tammy Wynette’s songs are as iconic as she is.