HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Throwback: Tammy Wynette Goes No. 1 With Smash Hit ‘Stand by Your Man’ 52 Years Ago Today

Country Throwback: Tammy Wynette Goes No. 1 With Smash Hit ‘Stand by Your Man’ 52 Years Ago Today

by Jacklyn Krol
Michael Putland, Getty Images

Remember when Tammy Wynette hit No. 1 with “Stand By Your Man”? It is the 52nd anniversary of her major milestone.

The Tammy Wynette Hit

Wynette wrote the song alongside Billy Sherrill in 1968. They were in a Nashville recording studio where they were trying to find the final song for her fifth album. Sherrill had a note in his pocket with the lyric, “I’ll Stand By You, You Please Stand By Me.” 

Because “Stand By Me” from Ben E. King was a recent hit, they wanted to change it up. According to accounts, a band member suggested the new song title. The song was written in just fifteen minutes.

Her band members recalled the moment they finished the song to NPR. “And I remember after the first take, she said, `God, if this is a hit, you know what?’ I said, `What?’ She said, `I’m going to have to hit that God-awful high note the rest of my life.'”

Watch her performance, below.

The Backlash

Because the song talks about standing by your husband, the women’s liberation movement called the song “anti-feminist.” “It’s unbelievable to me that a song that took me 20 minutes to write, I’ve spent 20 or 30 years defending,” her former publicist told NPR.

“A woman should be equal to a man for anything she’s capable of doing, but I still feel there’s a lot of things she isn’t capable of doing. Physically,” Wynette told Melody Maker magazine according to Smooth Radio.

“Personally, I’m not particularly fond of the thought of digging ditches or climbing telephone poles,” she added. “I’d rather stick with something a little more feminine. I wouldn’t want to lose the little courtesies that we’ve always been extended, like lighting cigarettes and opening doors, and pulling out chairs and things like that.” She admitted that she enjoys those little things. “I guess I just enjoy being a woman,” she concluded.