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Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)

catspaw49 16 Jul 12 - 05:19 PM
Beer 16 Jul 12 - 05:37 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 16 Jul 12 - 07:14 PM
katlaughing 16 Jul 12 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 16 Jul 12 - 07:20 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Jul 12 - 09:06 PM
Janie 16 Jul 12 - 09:39 PM
Bobert 16 Jul 12 - 09:55 PM
Thomas Stern 16 Jul 12 - 10:07 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 12 - 10:21 PM
Beer 16 Jul 12 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,Mike Rogers 17 Jul 12 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,bankley 17 Jul 12 - 07:56 AM
gnu 17 Jul 12 - 08:02 AM
Padre 17 Jul 12 - 10:49 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 18 Jul 12 - 11:08 AM
lisa null 18 Jul 12 - 11:13 AM
Beer 18 Jul 12 - 11:15 AM
Arkie 19 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM
goatfell 19 Jul 12 - 02:22 PM
Janie 19 Jul 12 - 08:20 PM
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Subject: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:19 PM

So many first in Country Music are hers. She opened the doors as yet another cog in the great women of CM.....Kitty Wells obit


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Beer
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:37 PM

A wonderful lady and contributor to music. Sympathies to all her love ones.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:14 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this! Even though she lived to a good age her songs played a large part in my memories and I feel like I knew her personally. I seen her perform live three times and she was great! RIP Kitty!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:19 PM

Ah...I wish we'd all quit getting older and just stick around. RIP, Kitty, and thanks.

kat


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:20 PM

almost sure I saw her in London back in the 60's ( 70's ?) at the Nashville Rooms.
She had a profound contribution to country music at a time when lady superstars were yet to appear.One of the best, especially with her brothers. Great pickin' & singin'.
God Bless, Sleep tight,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:06 PM

Kitty Wells, Trailblazing Country Singer, Dies at 92
By Bill Friskics-Warren
New York Times
July 16, 2012

NASHVILLE — Kitty Wells, who was on the verge of quitting music to be a homemaker when she recorded a hit in 1952 that struck a chord with women and began opening doors for them in country music, died on Monday at her home in Madison, Tenn. She was 92.

The cause was complications of a stroke, said her grandson John Sturdivant Jr.

Ms. Wells was an unlikely and unassuming pioneer. When she recorded "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," she was a 33-year-old wife and mother intending to retire from the business to devote herself to her family full time. The only reason she made the record, she told the weekly newspaper Nashville Scene in 1999, was to collect the union-scale wage ($125) that the session would bring.

"I wasn't expecting it to make a hit," she said. "I just thought it was another song."

But Ms. Wells's record proved to be much more than just "another song." It was a rejoinder to Hank Thompson's No. 1 hit "Wild Side of Life," a brooding lament in which the singer blames a woman he picks up in a bar for breaking up his marriage, and it became her signature song.

"Honky Tonk Angels" resonated with women who had been outraged by Mr. Thompson's record, which called into question their morals and their increasing social and sexual freedom. At a time when divorce rates were rising and sexual mores changing in postwar America, the song, with lyrics by J. D. Miller, resounded like a protofeminist anthem.

"As I sit here tonight, the jukebox playin'/The tune about the wild side of life," Ms. Wells sings, she reflects on married men pretending to be single and causing "many a good girl to go wrong." She continues:

It's a shame that all the blame is on us women

It's not true that only you men feel the same

From the start most every heart that's ever broken

Was because there always was a man to blame.

The NBC radio network banned Ms. Wells's record, deeming it "suggestive," and officials at the Grand Ole Opry would not at first let her perform it on their show. The Opry eventually relented, in part because of the song's popularity and Ms. Wells's nonthreatening image.

Ms. Wells "sang of 'Honky Tonk Angels,' but no one would have ever mistaken her for one," Mary A. Bufwack and Robert K. Oermann wrote in the book "Finding Her Voice: Women in Country Music, 1800-2000." "She was always proper, always dignified," they added. "She dressed in prewar gingham instead of pantsuits, flamboyant Western garb or satin costumes."

Sung in a gospel-inflected moan and backed by a crying steel guitar, Ms. Wells's record spent six weeks at the top of the country charts and crossed over to the pop Top 40. The song's success not only made her the biggest female country music star of the postwar era, it also persuaded record executives in Nashville to offer recording contracts to other women. (Music labels had not thought female singers were worth the investment.)

Ms. Wells became a model for generations of female singers, from Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton to Iris DeMent. The renowned song publisher Fred Rose anointed her the Queen of Country Music.

Muriel Ellen Deason was born in Nashville on Aug. 30, 1919. Her father, a brakeman for the Tennessee Central Railroad, played guitar and sang folk songs after the fashion of Jimmie Rodgers. Ms. Wells grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and singing gospel music.

She learned to play the guitar at 14 and made her singing debut on the radio in 1936. She married Johnnie Wright the following year and worked briefly in a group with her new husband and his sister. When Mr. Wright formed the singing duo Johnny and Jack with Jack Anglin in the late '30s, Ms. Wells, at that point performing under her married name, was the featured "girl singer" in their show.

She appeared on some of the biggest radio hoedowns of the day, including "Louisiana Hayride" and the weekly Grand Ole Opry broadcast. As the Little Rag Doll she worked as a disc jockey, playing records and selling quilt pieces on KWKH in Shreveport, La. Mr. Wright suggested that she adopt the stage name Kitty Wells, drawn from an old folk ballad made popular by the Pickard Family.

Ms. Wells recorded for RCA Victor in 1949, but all of her major hits were made after that for the Decca label and produced by Owen Bradley. Several of her early records were duets with country stars like Red Foley and Webb Pierce. During her 27-year recording career she placed 84 singles on the country charts, 38 of them in the Top 10.

Family was important to Ms. Wells and her husband. Early on they incorporated their children into their touring revue. They also recorded with them.

Mr. Wright, Ms. Wells's husband of more than 70 years died last year. She is survived by a son, Bobby, and a daughter, Sue Wright Sturdivant; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Ruby, died in 2009.

Ms. Wells had her own syndicated television show in 1968 and made a country-rock album with members of the Allman Brothers and the Marshall Tucker Band in 1974. She was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976. In 1991 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presented Ms. Wells with a lifetime achievement award. Only two other performers in country music, Hank Williams and Roy Acuff, had previously received that honor.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:39 PM

Truly Country and truly great Country.

Peace, and condolences to all who knew and loved her.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:55 PM

Sniff... I remember her songs well...

B~


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 10:07 PM

RIP - One of many trailblazers for women in the music industry.
There was a concert - tv special (c.1993) "THE WOMEN OF COUNTRY" which documented women's history in country from the 20's up to current. Many old timers performed live (including Kitty Wells) or via film clips.
The program was available on VHS for a short while, and on DVD only
in the UK for an instant. Never could fathom why it is not available-it was a brilliant concert and documentary, with an incredible list of stars.

Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 10:21 PM

"there was a concert - tv special (c.1993) "THE WOMEN OF COUNTRY" which documented women's history in country from the 20's up to current. Many old timers performed live (including Kitty Wells) or via film clips." Thomas Stern

I have a copy of that concert and get it out every once in awhile. As you said, it is a brilliant one.

I am sad about Kitty Wells' passing. I was kind of hoping she would go on forever.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells
From: Beer
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 10:37 PM

Kitty's handle was "Queen of Country Music" but she had another one as well. Silly one. Anyone know it?
ad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 03:39 AM

Quite a number of the girls get the credit for kicking down the doors of the Nashville male establishment. I can't imagine Kitty Wells kicking anything but she gave the doors a good shove and she was one of the first. Very talented lady.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 07:56 AM

RIP Miss Wells

( I thought Whisperin' Bill Anderson was the Queen of Country Music)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: gnu
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:02 AM

"on the verge of quitting"

Thank goodness she didn't. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: Padre
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 10:49 PM

I saw Kitty Wells on the Grand Old Opry at the Ryman in August 1961 - what a great performer she was.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:08 AM

Many of the tributes that I read about Kitty mention that she was the first female country star and was an icebreaker for all who followed. While there is truth in this and Honly Tonk Angels certainly made her a pioneer, we must remember that others such as Maybelle and Sara Carter, Patsy Montana, Molly O'Day, and Rose Maddox also broke a lot of ice! May they all rest in peace and their greatness be long remembered!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: lisa null
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:13 AM

I think she was one of the great singers of all time-- everything that I value most in traditional singers, though she would usually be classified as "country." A dead honest, straightfroward, low-dynamic "telling" of a song. You never had to question what she was saying and could give your whole energy to feeling her song in your own way, heart to heart. natural diction, never let her personality overwhelm the content and yet you sensed you were listening to a very, real person. True pitch, forward placement, comfortable breathing-- much to learn from listening.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: Beer
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:15 AM

Excellent point Sandy
ad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: Arkie
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM

As Sandy has pointed out, there are several women who have given a punch or a kick to music and country in particular since that is genre we are discussing at the moment. And Kitty Wells is deserving of being in that elite company of ladies Sandy mentioned. I am glad that I came along at a time when singers like Kitty Wells had a chance and a presence in country music. I still prefer Kitty Wells to the 'so called big names' who get the air play and big recording contracts in these times. Glad she got the break she needed, and that she had a long and outstanding run as one of the top singers in the business. She earned all the respect and admiration we can heap on her. And she wears it with dignity. Ms Wells, much thanks for the music you have given us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: goatfell
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 02:22 PM

so sad, another one gone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Kitty Wells (1919-2012)
From: Janie
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 08:20 PM

Well said, Lisa.


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