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Country music icon Tammy Wynette truly embodied this country music classic Tammy Wynette/YouTube Screenshot
Tammy Wynette/YouTube screenshot

If ever there was a perfect marriage, it was between Tammy Wynette and the smash hit song “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”

No pun intended, of course.

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From the second Tammy burst upon the country music scene, it was clear that she was a woman that wasn’t to be messed with. With hits like “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” and “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” Tammy was one of the first women to cater to the woman’s point of view. So when you hear women like Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride tip their caps to ladies like Tammy, now you know why.

Tammy would not only secure her third No. 1 with “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” on June 29, 1968, but the song also served as a sort of theme song to her life. Tammy was going through her second d-i-v-o-r-c-e at the time. She went on to have two more, for a total of four divorces in her life. Bear in mind, this was a period in American history where few people ever got divorced once, let alone repeatedly.

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Even as Tammy went on to a decades-long career with 79 charting singles, 20 of which hit No. 1, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” became one of her signature solo songs. Perhaps that was why she was able to embody the song so well because in real life, she had lived it like few others. Kind of ironic for a woman who’s lasting legacy is a song entitled “Stand By Your Man.”

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Even more ironic? “Stand By Your Man” was the follow up single to “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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