Don't click or your IP will be banned


Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band Forum
You are not logged in

< Last Thread   Next Thread >Ascending sortDescending sorting  
Author: Subject: Kitty Wells dies at 92; country music trailblazer

Zen Peach





Posts: 24435
(24610 all sites)
Registered: 3/31/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 06:08 AM
Man, 2012 is not a good year for musicians.


By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times

July 17, 2012

Country singer Kitty Wells had been recording, touring and broadcasting without major success for more than a decade when she accepted an offer in 1952 to record one more song before she planned to turn her attention to staying at home and raising a family.

Mostly she was interested in the $125 union scale pay she'd get for the session, at which she recorded "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," a song that not only turned her career around but also helped upend stereotypical thinking about men who strayed and the women they strayed with.

"I had decided I wasn't going to work any more," Wells told a reporter in 2001 shortly after wrapping up a six-decade career through which she was often referred to as the "queen of country music." "When it started making a hit, it wasn't too long before I had to go back to work."

Wells, who died Monday in Madison, Tenn., at 92 of complications from a stroke, promptly became the most successful and influential female singer of the 1950s and early '60s, one of a handful of women to have significant impact at a time when the music was overwhelmingly dominated by men.

"The history of country music can't be written without calling attention to her great achievements," John Rumble, senior historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, told The Times on Monday. "She really has left an indelible mark on American music history."

Singer Marty Stuart on Monday called her "the undisputed queen of country music. There's more to being a queen than just calling yourself a queen it's a title that goes with an entire lifetime of service and influence. You check the careers of anyone in [Nashville], and you won't find anyone with a more spotless career than Kitty Wells."

Wells laid a template for female singers in country music that started a shift in traditional male-female roles in rural America with "Honky Tonk Angels." Her recording delivered a strikingly assertive response to Hank Thompson's massive 1952 hit "The Wild Side of Life," in which a man laid all blame on a woman he met in a honky tonk for breaking up his marriage and then leaving him to go "where the wine and liquor flows, where you wait to be anybody's baby."

Wells, singing a song written by J.D. Miller, shot back, "It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels/As you said in the words of your song/Too many times married men think they're still single/That has caused many a good girl to go wrong."

That recording was No. 1 for six weeks in 1952 and began a string of hits that extended to 1979.

The stern resolution in her voice would be echoed in subsequent recordings by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris on through Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks and still ripples today in assertive songs by Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

"Kitty Wells was my hero," Lynn said Monday in a statement. "If I had never heard Kitty Wells sing, I don't think I would have been a singer myself."

Wells was able to defy conventional wisdom in country music during the first half of the century that said audiences wouldn't buy records from female singers and wouldn't pay for tickets to see them perform live. Consequently, women were typically relegated to supporting roles on Grand Ole Opry broadcasts, on multi-act tours and rarely landed recording contracts.

After "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" sold more than 1 million copies, record executives began rethinking those attitudes and started signing singers such as Cline, Connie Smith, Lynn, Wynette, Parton and others.

Wells was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991 the same year it was also presented to Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Marian Anderson. She was only the third country performer and the first female to get the recognition, following previous country lifetime achievement award recipients Hank Williams and Roy Acuff.

Wells continued to have an active role at the Grand Ole Opry long after country radio stopped playing her music. She placed 81 records on the Billboard Country Charts from 1952 through 1979 35 of those reaching the Top 10. She created the vast majority as a solo artist, but she also scored hit duets with her husband, singer Johnnie Wright; her daughter, Carol Sue, and several with singers Red Foley and Webb Pierce. Wright died last year at 97.

Muriel Ellen Deason was born Aug. 30, 1919, in Nashville, one of the very few major country stars born in the country music capital. Her father, Charles Cary Deason, and uncle were country musicians and her mother, Myrtle Bell Deason, was a gospel singer.

With two sisters and a cousin she began performing in the 1930s as the Deason Sisters, and after marrying Wright in 1937, she became part of Johnnie Wright and the Harmony Girls along with Wright's sister, Louise. In 1939, Wright and his friend Jack Anglin formed a duo, Johnnie & Jack, for which Wells served as the "girl singer." They toured throughout the South in the 1940s, and Wright began referring to his wife as Kitty Wells, a name taken from a 19th century song recorded in 1930 by the Pickard Family.

Recordings Wells made in 1949 and '50 gained little traction. After the success of "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," she continued singing about the most disastrous effects of romantic liaisons and divorce topics that still touched nerves and were considered taboo in many quarters in subsequent hits such as "Paying for That Back Street Affair," "Your Wild Life's Gonna Get You Down," "Mommy For a Day" and a No. 1 hit she recorded with Red Foley, "One by One," in which the singers traded lines about how "one by one we broke each vow we made."

"She was emotional, even tearful at times, but it was restrained," Rumble said. "There was no emotional excess, no self-pity it was just a lot of pain she was singing about in being 'Mommy For a Day.' "

Wells deflected any aspersions that might have been cast on her own character because of what she sang by dressing conservatively, typically performing in high-necked gingham dresses with puffed sleeves.

"Her private life was family-oriented and without controversy, crisis or scandal," country historian Mary A. Bufwack wrote about Wells in the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Country Music. "But in her songs, Wells could be the rejected woman or the barroom singer worldly wise, a victim of her own passion or even morally weak."

In the '60s she and Wright drafted their three children, Ruby, Carol Sue and Bobby, to tour with them as the Kitty Wells-Johnnie Wright Family Show significantly with her name getting top billing. She hosted a syndicated TV show in 1968. The family's touring ensemble kept busy playing as many as 300 nights a year until Wells and Wright announced their retirements in 2000.

In addition to her son, Bobby, and daughter, Sue Wright Sturdivant, Wells is survived by eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. Her daughter Ruby died in 2009.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-kitty-wells-20120717,0,1982289 .story

 

____________________


 
Replies:

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1649
(1649 all sites)
Registered: 7/24/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 08:27 AM
Too bad , I believe Kitty had a few releases on Capricorn records.

 

____________________
I once was here
But now I'm not
I went away
To smoke some pot
I'm writing this,to prove a point
Life ain't sh-t,without a joint.

 

Ultimate Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3057
(3097 all sites)
Registered: 10/3/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 12:16 PM

Here she is doing her signature song


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKleTa94dC8

 

____________________
In my 38th year following the Allman Brothers. Things that "rock"....The Allman Brothers Band, Jam bands, Bluegrass music and Steamboats

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 100459
(100459 all sites)
Registered: 7/1/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 03:53 PM
R.I.P. Kitty
 
E-Mail User

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 9143
(25092 all sites)
Registered: 10/30/2010
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 04:24 PM
quote:
Too bad , I believe Kitty had a few releases on Capricorn records.


Johnny Sandlin has a few pages about Kitty and Capricorn in his book.

 

____________________

 

True Peach



Karma:
Posts: 10552
(10551 all sites)
Registered: 8/16/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 05:28 PM
All the great ones are getting older and leaving us . pretty soon all we will have is taylor swift, nicky manaj, kenny cheezeney and that douche john mayer.

[Edited on 7/17/2012 by pops42]

 

____________________

 

Ultimate Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3106
(3106 all sites)
Registered: 5/16/2008
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 07:07 PM
My father was a huge fan of Kitty Wells and I spend a large part of my childhood listening to many classic country artists such as Kitty Wells. Didn't really appreciate the music all that much back then but as I have gotten older I've come to realize what great artists people like Kitty Wells were and the great musical legacy that people like her left behind. How true the old saying, they don't make them like that anymore. R.I.P. Kitty
 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 40440
(41904 all sites)
Registered: 7/19/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 7/17/2012 at 09:06 PM
It's been a really tough year for musicians and musical pioneers. RIP Kitty

 

____________________
Front feet doin' the shuffle, back feet too, love them good ol' Georgia blues


 
 


Powered by XForum 1.81.1 by Trollix Software

Privacy | Terms of Service | Report Infringement | Personal Data Management | Contact Us
The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND name, The ALLMAN BROTHERS name, likenesses, logos, mushroom design and peach truck are all registered trademarks of THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. whose rights are specifically reserved. Any artwork, visual, or audio representations used on this web site CONTAINING ANY REGISTERED TRADEMARKS are under license from The ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. A REVOCABLE, GRATIS LICENSE IS GRANTED TO ALL REGISTERED PEACH CORP MEMBERS FOR The DOWNLOADING OF ONE COPY FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. ANY DISTRIBUTION OR REPRODUCTION OF THE TRADEMARKS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE PROHIBITED AND ARE SPECIFICALLY RESERVED BY THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO.,INC.
site by Hittin' the Web Group with www.experiencewasabi3d.com