Tammy Wynette (#1 country, #19 pop, 1968)
Hardly a story is written about Tammy Wynette in which her association with “Stand By Your Man” isn’t mentioned. Following a three-week run at #1 on Billboard’s country singles chart beginning on November 23, 1968, the song became her second Grammy winner on March 11, 1969.
It was so closely linked with Tammy that it was used as the title of her 1979 biography as well as the title of the 1981 TV-movie based on that book. In the film, Wynette was portrayed by Annette O’Toole. The idea for “Stand By Your Man” belonged to Tammy’s producer Billy Sherrill, the man who had discovered her and signed her to Epic Records two years earlier.
Sherrill had carried the title in his pocket on a piece of paper for more than a year. He put it to good use at a Wynette recording session at Columbia’s Studio B on August 26, 1968. After cutting two songs, Sherrill gave the musicians (including The Jordanaires and steel guitarist Pete Drake) a 20-minute break, and went upstairs with Wynette to write one more tune, which was needed to fill out the session.
Billy suggested “Stand By Your Man,” and Tammy had an instant affinity for the concept. “We sat down, and after a couple of lines, it just came to us,” Tammy recalled. “It was one of the fastest songs I ever worked on. It was almost as if it was meant to be.”