No longer standing by

Kellie Pickler’s 2012 album 100 Proof leads off with a rhetorical question: “Where’s Tammy Wynette” when you need her? She’s in Nashville’s Woodlawn Memorial Park, in a space which has sometimes been labeled “Tammy Wynette” and sometimes “Virginia W. Richardson,” her last married name. (She was born Virginia Wynette Pugh on this day in 1942.) But she never seems far away, even in the face of such anomalies as Lyle Lovett’s version of “Stand By Your Man” that played over the credits of The Crying Game. (Lovett is still singing it to this day.)

Tammy Wynette on stage

Actually, I missed “Stand” when it came out, having cemented my loyalty to Top 40; but when the Top 40 station played the heck out of the follow-up, “Singing My Song,” I went back and dug into her catalog. Of course, I could have just waited for this CD:

Tammy Wynette: The Definitive Collection

The last track on that CD is the hardest one to explain: “Justified and Ancient,” with The KLF, released in 1991.

Never made the country chart, but it checked in at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart, higher even than “Stand By Your Man,” which made #19 pop. (“Stand” was, of course, Number One country, her fourth in a row.)



  1. McGehee »

    5 May 2015 · 5:17 pm

    Haven’t heard Lyle’s cover, but Jake and Elwood’s was suitably odd.

  2. CGHill »

    5 May 2015 · 5:27 pm

    Well, it did illustrate their command of both kinds of music.

  3. Roger Green »

    5 May 2015 · 8:41 pm

    I saw The Crying Game at the cinema, which pretty much ends with Lyle’s version of Stand By Your Man. I thought it was inspired.

  4. CGHill »

    5 May 2015 · 8:43 pm

    I remember thinking “Yep. Perfect ending.”

  5. Saint Russell »

    5 May 2015 · 8:49 pm

    I was there when Julia Roberts, in her wedding dress, took the stage and made the introduction: “Ladies and gentlemen, my husband and his Large Band!” On that occasion, Stand By Your Man was the show opener. (Cool story, bro.)

  6. Roger Green »

    6 May 2015 · 4:50 am

    This is weird: My Top Pop singles 1955-2002 has J&A. My 1955-2010 edition has dropped it! I do not understand.

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