Stand By Your Pom

Virginia Pugh was born dirt poor on a cotton farm in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and before she died in 1998 at the young age of 55, she knew what it was to pick cotton, wait on tables, work in a shoe factory, be treated with electroshock therapy, and have five marriages and four daughters. Her claims of having been abducted from a mall and beaten was, she later said, to cover up the beating her fifth husband had inflicted on her.

She knew a little about life’s tough knocks. 

Before the rest of the world had ever heard of her, Virginia attended beauty school with money given to her by her mother, and gained enough independence to get free of a first marriage. She had ten hour days on her feet as a beautician, but she never let her cosmetology license expire. Ever. Every year until her death, she renewed that license noting that “she could always go back to hairdressing” if her other “gig” went south. 

This was unlikely to happen to the “First Lady of Country Music,” a nickname she earned after becoming the first female country singer to sell a million copies of a single album.  That 1968 album was ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E,’ and you know Virginia Wynette Pugh as Tammy Wynette, the stage name given to her by record producer, Billy Sherrill when she signed with Epic Records in 1966 because she reminded Sherrill of the title character played Debbie Reynolds in the movie, “Tammy and the Bachelor.”

Tammy passed away before many of our readers were born, but very few people have not heard the following song:

Tammy Wynette’s signature song, “Stand by Your Man,” got both raves and rebukes for its portrayal of a woman’s loyalty towards her husband, but it stayed Number One on the U.S. country charts for three weeks, reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart, earned Wynette the 1970 Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, and in 2003, it received the ultimate accolade, ranking #1 on the “100 All-Time Greatest Country Songs” list by Country Music Television. In 2021, it was ranked No. 473 on Rolling Stone‘s “Top 500 Songs of All Time.”

Pomeranian, Killer, Tammy Wynette, music

Photo of singer Tammy Wynette/Wikicommons Public domain

It was far from Wynette’s only hit song, but it helped make her one most successful female vocalists in the history of country music with twenty Number One hits, and recordings that had sales of more than $100 million.  Music City News gave Wynette the Living Legend Award, and in 1999, “Stand by Your Man” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
We occasionally like to share the backgrounds of famous people which often makes their choices of canine companions interesting. Not much is written about Tammy Wynette’s Pomeranian, “Killer,” and even fewer photos of the pair can be found. We don’t have permission to use this one, but we thought you’d find it somewhat interesting.
Image: “Singing Pomeranian Puppies bKatrina Brown/AdobeStockPhoto

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