On This Day: Tammy Wynette Records #1 Hit ‘Til I Can Make It on My Own’ in 1975

by Emily Morgan
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First Lady of Country Music, Tammy Wynette’s “Till I Make It On My Own” has undoubtedly contributed to country music’s lasting impact. The song, written by Wynette, Billy Sherrill, George Richey, was the first single and title track from the album of the same name.

The heart-wrenching tune became Tammy Wynette’s fifteenth No. 1 hit on the country charts and spent eleven weeks on the charts.

In addition to the tune hitting the top of the country charts, it also became No. 84 on the pop singles charts, becoming her first single in three years to enter the pop charts. 

Tammy Wynette’s Heartbreak Exposed in ‘Till I Make It On My Own’

Many fans agree Wynette wrote the song based on her divorce from country legend George Jones. In 1976 when the song was released, Wynette and Jones had officially separated the previous year. The lyrics of “‘Til I Can Make It on My Own” tells the breakup story and how Wynetee eventually had to move on with her life without the country singer. 

I’ll get by, but no matter how I try
There’ll be times that You’ll know I’ll call
Chances are my tears will fall
And I’ll have no pride at all, from time to time

Often considered one of Wynette’s classic hits, the song kept her career from waning after her divorce became public. Later, Kenny Rogers and Dottie West recorded a version of the track as a duet. Their rendition reached No. 3 on the country singles charts in 1979.

Before her untimely death in 1999, Wynette had disclosed that out of all the songs she ever recorded, “Till I Make It On My Own” was her personal favorite. For the remainder of her career, she made sure to incorporate the song into her setlist whenever she performed. 

Even though Wynette was known for her 1968 breakout hit “Stand By Your Man,” she ultimately had to break that motto when it came to Jones. She’d once described her relationship with her third husband as, “I was naggin’ and he was nippin’,” a nod to Jones’ drinking habit and the fights that ensued. 

Even though their relationship had moments of conflict and turmoil, the couple also created powerful country duets that fans would cherish to this day. After divorcing in 1975, Jones and Wynette would always remain a part of each other’s personal and professional lives. In 1976 they continued to work together as friends when they released the No. 1 duets “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”

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