Friday, November 23, 2018

50 years ago: Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” topped the country chart

Stand by Your Man

Tammy Wynette

Writer(s): Billy Sherrill, Tammy Wynette (see lyrics here)


Released: September 20, 1968


First Charted: October 19, 1968


Peak: 19 US, 23 CB, 19 HR, 11 AC, 13 CW, 13 UK, 15 CN, 9 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 45.86 video, 45.88 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Producer Billy Sherrill had the idea for the song “Stand by Your Man.” He had the title scribbled on a scrap of paper which he carried in his pocket for a year. During a recording session for Tammy Wynette on August 26, 1968, he suggested the title to her. She “had an instant affinity for the concept.” TR The wrote the song in under a half hour. AC Wynette said that Sherrill told her the melody came from a work by Richard Strauss that was in the public domain. TR

The song stirred controversy amongst the women’s liberation movement as an “example of a compliant wife willing to defer to her husband,” SF but “would play well in the Bible Belt.” AC Wynette defended the song “as not a call for women to place themselves second to men, but rather a suggestion that women attempt to overlook their husbands’ shortcomings and faults if they truly love them.” WK Ironically, she was married five times.

Sherrill admitted that he intended the song for women who wanted no part of feminism. TR “Even though to some skeptics it may hint of chauvinism, as far as I’m concerned they can like it or lump it. ‘Stand by Your Man’ is just another way of saying ‘I love you – without reservations.’” TR

The song was her fifth #1 out of 20 country chart toppers. It took five releases in the UK for it to become a hit, but then it went all the way to #1 in 1975. SF It was “the most successful record of Wynette’s career, and is one of the most familiar songs in the history of country music.” WK In 2003, Country Music Television rated the song the greatest in country in music. WK “With the almost cult status of ‘Stand by Your Man,’ Tammy would never again be just another girl singer, and her stature would demand that country charts make room for…powerful women.” AC


Resources:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Tammy Wynette
  • AC Ace Collins (1996). The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley Publishing Group. Pages 201-3.
  • TR Tom Roland (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 16.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia


First posted 10/27/2021; last updated 11/4/2021.

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