Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kitty Wells [1919-2012]

 Artist: Kitty Wells
LP: The Kitty Wells Story
Song: "Amigo's Guitar"
[ listen ]
Song: "I Gave My Wedding Dress Away"
[ listen ]

I was sad to hear on the radio yesterday morning that Kitty Wells, the Queen of Country Music, had died. She was 92 years old. With so many decades of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Lacy J. Dalton music wafting over the airwaves, it's hard to imagine there was ever a time when women were not the glittery centerpieces of country and western music. But it was man and man alone who topped the charts in Nashville until 1952, when Kitty came along with a big hit song that only a woman could sing: "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." The tune is basically a retort from the female perspective, after years of listening and silently enduring as the whiny men of Kentucky and Tennessee crooned about their bad women, lonely teardrops, and their sad and broken hearts. Kitty, a Nashville native herself, piped up on behalf of women everywhere to point out that, actually, 9 times out of 10 when there's a broken heart and teardrops to be found, there's a wanderin', cheatin', man with a wayward penis who's responsible for the mess. I think she's right. Anyway, Kitty's message caught on, she hit #1, and the rest, as they say, is history. You can read more about the life and career of the lovely and talented Kitty Wells in the liner notes from this terrific double-LP I picked up in Sioux Falls a few summers ago. There's even more about Ms. Wells on Wikipedia here, you can visit the Kitty Wells website here, see a list of all her singles and their peak chart positions here, and go here to find her obituary in the L.A. Times. Sorry I haven't been posting anything here these past few weeks, I've been looking for a job. If you know anyone who wants to hire a Kitty Wells fan, please have them send me an email.

Kitty Wells on YouTube:

Kitty Wells
[August 30, 1919 — July 16, 2012]
We will miss you, Kitty.