George Jones and Tammy Wynette were country music’s power couple. When they married they were both at the top of their career. George had a long line of hits and Tammy was set to win a Grammy for “Stand by Your Man.” It seemed like a match made in heaven. Jones was the king of country music and when they wed, Wynette became the First Lady of country.
Today marks the fifty-second anniversary of the wedding that changed the landscape of country music. It wasn’t a perfect marriage by any means. However, today we’re going to look back at the high points of one of country music’s greatest love stories.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette – The Beginning
Geroge Jones had been married and divorced twice when he and Tammy Wynette got together. This is something that they had in common. Wynette had divorced once before moving to Nashville. In 1968 she was working on her second divorce. They both knew the highs and hardships that come with love, marriage, and the end of relationships.
Tammy Wynette loved George Jones before they met. She grew up listening to his music. Some say that he was her idol. There’s a chance that Jones is partially responsible for her getting into the music business in the first place. Coincidentally, it was her career that brought them together.
In true Nashville fashion, George Jones and Tammy Wynette met in a recording studio. They hit it off almost immediately. Tammy was enamored with George before they met. At the same time, she was young, beautiful, and incredibly talented. Jones didn’t stand a chance at resisting her. Their connection flourished on the road together.
It was during a fight with her second husband that George Jones first professed his love to Wynette. From there, they became an item. Less than a year later, they were married.
Mr. and Mrs. Country Music
With their marriage, Jones and Wynette intertwined not only their lives but also their careers. George Jones signed to the same label as Tammy Wynette and the two began making music together. The husband and wife duo spend plenty of time in the studio together. Their first album, “We Go Together” was released only two years after their marriage. Among the great duets on the album was “The Ceremony,” which is George and Tammy’s wedding vows set in a duet. It’s such a beautiful testament to just how much they loved each other at the time. Their marriage only lasted a few short years but their love was real and strong.
Professionally, the pair worked wonderfully together. When they sang together, it didn’t just sound good it felt good. You could almost feel the love between George Jones and Tammy Wynette when they sang. At the same time, they toured together. There was never any argument over who got top billing at a venue. Whoever would be the bigger draw would get top billing. They were a team both personally and professionally. They did what was best for their team.
Things wouldn’t go well for very long. Jones was a notoriously uncontrollable drunk. Wynette was said to be volatile as well. She is quoted as saying that Jones just couldn’t tolerate happiness. She also said, “If everything is right, there is something in him that makes him destroy it and destroy me with it.” So, after six years, their marriage ended.
However, they continued to make music together. In fact, Jones once said that they got along better after their divorce. They recorded several more duets after their split and in each one of those, you can hear the love that still lived between them.