Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen

Note moyenne 3,71
( 188 avis fournis par GoodReads )
 
9780143118886: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen

Tammy Wynette In the first full-scale biography of the enduring first lady of country music, "New York Times"-bestselling biographer McDonough tells the story of the small-town girl whose meteoric rise led to a decades-long career full of tragedy and triumph. Full description

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Extrait :

Virginia’s in the House

I believe you have to live the songs.—Tammy Wynette

October 1968. The Country Music Association Awards. After a peppy introduction by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Tammy Wynette wafts to the mic like she’s in a trance. Skinny as a matchstick, wearing a fancy, futuristic housecoat dress, Tammy looks like her ratted-out beehive and big lapels might consume her at any second. “Just a country girl’s idea of glamour,” explains Dolly Parton. “Tammy didn’t have any more fashion sense than I did, really. I always say me and Tammy, we got our clothes from Fifth and Park—that was, the fifth trailer in the park.”

Wynette’s a striking woman, with an elegant neck, beautiful lips, and a stunning profile, but one with an extreme, elongated face set beneath feline, close-set eyes. Unimaginative types who don’t savor esoteric looks might be dim-witted enough to consider her a tad homely. Hell, head-on Wynette looks like a Siamese cat in a wig hat. Not that Tammy was particularly vain. As she told Alanna Nash, “my neck’s too long, my nose has a hump in it, my boobs are too saggy and the kids call me ‘weenie butt’ ’cause I have no rear end.”

“Tammy never had the movie star looks of her lesser rivals, but she had a tough beauty, a no-messin’ allure,” wrote the KLF’s Bill Drummond, who would collaborate with Wynette near the end of her life on a wacky and improbable dance hit, “Justified and Ancient.” Only twenty-six, Tammy already seems a bit shopworn. The mountain of makeup can’t completely hide the worry, the fear, the dark circles lurking below tired eyes. She stands so stiff you’d think the hanger was still in the damn dress.

And then this tiny, troubled wisp of a human being opens her mouth, and out comes an atom-bomb voice. The band’s playing too fast, which only accentuates her odd phrasing. “Our little boy turned four years old . . .”

The particular song she’s singing tonight is a cockamamie number called “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” and its content is a bit much—a mother spelling out “the hurtin’ words” so Junior can’t understand that Mommy’s split with Daddy “becomes final today.” But Wynette invests the song with such feeling that anybody with half a heart would have to acknowledge the sheer conviction on display, the utter reality of her pain. For when Tammy sings, as her longtime producer Billy Sherrill once said, there is “a tear in every word.”

When she gets to the chorus, Wynette belts out the words with the force of an air-raid siren, yet barely bats an eyelash. There’s zero body language—the drama’s all in the voice. She doesn’t act out the song or punch her fist in the air; in fact, she barely moves an inch. Tammy the statue. Until a Tinseltown choreographer teaches her some questionable dance steps in the mid-eighties, Wynette will remain frozen onstage. The anti-style of Tammy’s wax-figure performances absolutely mystified Dolly Parton. “I could not believe that all of that voice and all that sound was comin’ out of a person standin’ totally still. I’d think, ‘How is she doin’ that?’ It seems like you’d have to lean into your body or bow down into it or somethin’ to get all of that out. I’ve never seen anything like it to this day. I was in awe of her. I thought she had one of the greatest voices of all time.”

Wynette finishes her devastating performance and meekly walks off the stage. She wins Female Vocalist of the Year tonight, as she would the following year—and the one after that. For all her talent, she is not only a genuinely humble person, but, unfortunately, one with little self-confidence. “She never knew she was Tammy Wynette,” said more than one friend.

September 30, 1982. The White House. Performing at a barbecue for President Ronald Reagan, Tammy serenades the commander in chief with her signature song, “Stand by Your Man.” The day before, she’d sung it in Alabama for that steely firebrand of the South, George Wallace. A few years previous she’d done it for Jimmy Carter. Indifferent to politics, Tammy likes ’em all. “She didn’t know anything about what was goin’ on in the world,” said her friend Joan Dew. “She wasn’t interested. It wasn’t that she was stupid, she just didn’t care.” For Reagan, Wynette is wearing a “red antebellum gown with a hoopskirt which was just gorgeous,” said her hairdresser Jan Smith, who had not only flown in with the coveted dress, but had to “buy it a ticket and sit it next to me.”

There they were, the president, the country singer, and her hairdresser, “walking across the White House lawn,” Smith recalled. “All of a sudden Tammy pokes me, I look down and she sticks her foot out and wiggles it! She was barefoot under that dress.”

Barefoot on the White House lawn. Classic Tammy. As is what transpires during her performance. She parks herself down in the president’s lap and sings “Stand by Your Man” right in Ronnie’s face. The act isn’t unusual for Wynette—during live shows, she’d often go out in the audience, zero in on some hapless husband, and melt him down in a similar fashion. But this is the president. “I didn’t know it wasn’t proper protocol,” claimed Miss Tammy. “He certainly didn’t say anything.” As far as Wynette’s performance went, “I had goose bumps,” the Gipper confessed to the New York Times. Months later, on June 20, 1983, Tammy sings for the president at a catfish dinner in Jackson, Mississippi. “He kissed Tammy!” said Jan Smith. A photo of the smooch wound up in the Globe. “Ronald Reagan definitely had a thing for Tammy. After it was over, Tammy said to me, ‘Oh, my God, Jan, that was so embarrassing! He swabbed my tonsils!’ Well, Nancy Reagan got real out of joint about it.”

When Tammy belts out “Stand by Your Man,” “the more than 2,000 Republicans responded as if it were a theme song,” noted the Times. Which is funny, because so have an untold number of drag queens, gay men, and lesbians. A song with a sublimely fuzzy center, “Stand by Your Man” is open to interpretation, enabling all kinds to claim it either as an anthem or as patriarchal propaganda. Whatever your politics, if you really listen, it can be a hard number to resist. Just about everybody at some point in his or her life has fallen victim to a selfless, perhaps unhealthy, passion for another, and Wynette delivers the lyric as a matter of life and death.

Tammy would live to sing “Stand by Your Man” to five presidents and countless lesser luminaries. Not bad for a country girl from Itawamba County, Mississippi. “She went from a little nowhere place to talkin’ with the president,” said cousin Jane Williams. “She did not have anything. She did it herself.”

Summer, 1996. Lincoln City, Oregon. Tammy is performing at the grand opening of the Chinook Winds Casino. She has been in ever-declining health due to wrenching intestinal problems that cause her continual and excruciating pain. She also has a serious and decades-long addiction to painkillers, the powerful synthetic opiate Dilaudid among them. Sometimes a plane would be dispatched to pick up her narcotics; others, the drugs would be FedExed in. Just when Tammy got her hands on the package was a matter of concern for band and crew. If Wynette took too big a taste, she’d be zonked out, and the show would be an uphill battle. The band even had a saying to clue one another in that Tammy was seriously under the influence: “Virginia’s in the house.” Virginia Pugh was Tammy’s real name, and when Virginia’s name was invoked, it indicated an overmedicated Wynette. As backup singer Karyn Sloas explained, “We’d always say, ‘Is Virginia doin’ the show, or is Tammy?’ And if Virginia was doin’ the show, I would be prepared to sing a little bit more. Virginia clearly did the show in Lincoln City.”

Yes, Virginia was in the house with a vengeance that night. Yvonne Abdon and Karyn Sloas, her backup singers, were used to covering for Wynette when she was in vocal distress. “She had hand signals that she would give us if she was not able to hit the last note,” said Sloas. A fist behind her back meant she wasn’t going to hit that high F at the climax of “Stand by Your Man”; an open palm indicated, “Get this song over with as quick as possible.”

But a far weirder drama is unfolding onstage tonight. “We noticed Tammy was singing a lot slower,” said Tammy’s guitar player (and Karyn’s husband) David Sloas. “She was doin’ a pretty bad show, noddin’ off between songs,” said Yvonne Abdon, who sometimes had to sidle up to Wynette midsong and nudge her out of a nod. Tammy had a ritual she’d perform every night when back on the bus after the show. “She’d start getting sleepy and start playin’ with her rings,” said Yvonne. One by one they’d come off and she’d totter back to her bed.

Which is what Tammy begins to do this night in Lincoln City. The only problem is that Wynette is still onstage, in front of an audience and in the middle of “Stand by Your Man” when she plops down on her stool and starts preparing for bed. “It was pitiful,” said Abdon. “Karyn and I just looked at each other.”

When Tammy fails to deliver a line near the end of the song, Karyn Sloas, said David, “jumped in and started singin’.” As Wynette stands there in a daze, fumbling with her baubles, the curtain is abruptly brought down. “They helped Tammy to her dressing room, and she doubled over in phenomenal pain,” said Sloas. “The next day was canceled. The Chinook Winds people were very upset. This was their opening weekend.” Sloas, who continued working the road post-Wynette, said casino vets were still muttering about the debacle over a decade later.

It was a scenario that reoccurred with depressing frequency in her final years. For Tammy was trapped. Trapped in an addiction she couldn’t conquer, trapped by illness that brought on endless pain, and, many insist, trapped in a marriage to manager/husband George Richey that made everything worse.

“She seemed kind of desperate to me,” said the bluntly honest Charley Abdon, her drummer since 1985. “I think she knew Richey used her a bit. I mean, we all used her a little bit. I was there to make a livin’. I wish Tammy would’ve quit. She really should’ve. It’s a sad story.”

Few recording artists achieve the kind of success Tammy Wynette did. In total, she had more than twenty number one hits, several of which she’d co-written. Tammy was the first country artist to go platinum, and her total sales now loom somewhere past the thirty-million mark. If there is one person who her musicians and producers compare her to, it is Elvis. Guitarist Chip Young, who recorded with both, felt they were “very similar. Tammy just had that charisma.” Her tale is equally mythical. “She went from bein’ a beautician to the queen of country music,” said Emmylou Harris.

“I have big imagination, and big hopes. I do everything big,” said Wynette. With five husbands (one lasting only forty-four days), four kids, thirty-plus operations, Tammy also was harassed, endured financial disaster, and even escaped a strange, unsolved kidnapping attempt many suspected she’d had a hand in herself. One newspaper ran an article consisting solely of headlines from her various mishaps and maladies. To top it all off, husband number three was George Jones, Wynette’s idol. During their stormy seven-year marriage, they’d record what many critics consider the greatest country duets of all time. “Every woman wants her very own personal hero,” said writer Holly Gleason. “That he also happened to be a legendary vocal pyrotechnist, too, spoke volumes to the perfection of the fairy tales she believed in.”

Tammy loved country music with near-Pentecostal fervor and was known to chew out friends and family members that belittled her art form. “It’s honest music,” said Wynette. “It tells a story. It has a beginning, middle, and an end . . . it’s what people live. It’s what a lot of rock artists don’t write about. They sugarcoat things.” Tammy sings of cheating husbands, suffering wives, kids’ lives wrecked by divorce. The down and dirty stuff that grinds us all down on a daily basis. If you’re a woman, she could be singing your life. If you are a man, she might be compelling for darker reasons. Wynette sings of love in a rather disturbing fashion. Her music ain’t for sissies.

Wynette is such an extreme character that she instantly polarizes. Academics quarrel over the content of “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.” “In this song,” writes Cenate Pruitt, “the male exists only to torment the narrator, with no real explanation offered as to why the divorce is taking place at all, as it seems the narrator is entirely content to remain in the marriage, despite whatever issues it may have.” Not exactly, counters Kenneth E. Morris: “The singer’s perspective was that of a divorced mother in moral and sentimental alliance with her children against an egotistical and uncaring ex-husband.”

“Poor Tammy, she confused people—with her sultry album covers and husky, yearning voice, singing all those songs about family values and keeping your man satisfied, right in the middle of women’s lib,” said Lisa Miller, an acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter. “But when I listened to Tammy I didn’t hear a downtrodden woman. I heard a vulnerable one with enormous inner strength. She seemed to draw from a deeper well. She had this incredible ache in her voice and the ability to deliver her lines with utter conviction, to hit notes with such bull’s-eye precision, and to move from in-your-ear intimacy to soaring notes that threaten to cut your head off! This was so thrilling.”

The voice, the voice. What can one say? It bewitches you. Tammy just has that “out in the country sound,” to steal a line David “Honeyboy” Edwards used to describe fellow bluesman Elmore James. “A conversational mezzo-soprano with just enough grain to sound vulnerable” is the accurate if bloodless description Jon Pareles gave it in the New York Times. As her producer Billy Sherrill pointed out, when you got down to it, Tammy really didn’t have the greatest range, but, boy, could she go from loud to soft and back again. Not to mention the fact that Wynette does weird and wondrous things to words simply by singing them. “She could just milk a vowel,” said Emmylou Harris. “She could give so much melody to just, like, one syllable. But it never sounded contrived.”

It’s easy to pick on Tammy, dismiss her as an unsavory cartoon. But it’s more interesting to really listen to her, because she is a far more complicated and intriguing figure than the garish, glossy surface might suggest. Stephen Holden, another Times critic, noted that Wynette’s “blend of dependency and determination” had “less to do with camp than with her skill at building emotionally truthful songs around everyday catchphrases and socking them out in a voice that embodies the pain and resilience of long-suffering working-class women.” Sherrill put it a simpler way: “She speaks for the woman who’s been kicked in the ass all her life.”

There is a noble quality to the lady. When I think of Tammy’s music, something Julia Blackburn once wrote about Billie Holiday often comes to mind. “Even the saddest songs were full of courage. It was as if just the fact of singing was in itself a triumph and a way of dealing with despair.” But Wynette has never gotten the accolades of a Ho...

Présentation de l'éditeur :

From the New York Times bestselling biographer-the first book-length portrait of music legend Tammy Wynette.

Known for his acclaimed biographies of Neil Young, Russ Meyer, and Andy Milligan, Jimmy McDonough now delivers an emotional and revealing exploration of the life of the Queen of Heartbreak. Based on dozens of interviews, McDonough's book unveils a life of profound extremes, from Wynette's impoverished youth in Mississippi, to her meteoric rise after meeting legendary producer Billy Sherrill, to her star-crossed marriage to music legend George Jones. What emerges is an unforgettable view of a Nashville that no longer exists-and a woman whose life mirrored the sadness captured in her music.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Meilleurs résultats de recherche sur AbeBooks

1.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Books 2011-02-22 (2011)
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : > 20
Vendeur
Ebooksweb COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Books 2011-02-22, 2011. Paperback. État : New. 0143118889. N° de réf. du libraire Z0143118889ZN

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 7,19
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

2.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Books
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) PAPERBACK Quantité : 1
Vendeur
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. État : New. 0143118889. N° de réf. du libraire Z0143118889ZN

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 7,61
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

3.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Books
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) PAPERBACK Quantité : 2
Vendeur
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. État : New. 0143118889. N° de réf. du libraire Z0143118889ZN

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 7,73
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

4.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Books (2011)
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Couverture souple Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Books, 2011. État : New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: This book brings a breath of fresh air into the otherwise unimaginative social discourse on 'social identity' that reigns in anthropology and psychology in our time. The perspective outlined in the book is a practice theory; practice conceived not merely as what human beings do, but also what they imagine in conjunction with doing. The authors restore the centrality of personal positioning in the contruction of cultural worlds, and bring anthropologists and psychologists together after their long intellectual separation. N° de réf. du libraire ABE_book_new_0143118889

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 10,81
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

5.

Jimmy McDonough
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Quantité : > 20
Vendeur
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre État : New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. N° de réf. du libraire 97801431188860000000

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 10,83
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

6.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Random House
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Quantité : > 20
Vendeur
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Random House. État : New. Brand New. N° de réf. du libraire 0143118889

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 10,06
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,27
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

7.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Books
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) PAPERBACK Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Movie Mars
(Indian Trail, NC, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. État : New. 0143118889 Brand New Book. Ships from the United States. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee!. N° de réf. du libraire 13390472

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 10,05
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,72
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

8.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2011)
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
The Book Depository
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. État : New. 206 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the New York Times bestselling biographer-the first book-length portrait of music legend Tammy Wynette. Known for his acclaimed biographies of Neil Young, Russ Meyer, and Andy Milligan, Jimmy McDonough now delivers an emotional and revealing exploration of the life of the Queen of Heartbreak. Based on dozens of interviews, McDonough s book unveils a life of profound extremes, from Wynette s impoverished youth in Mississippi, to her meteoric rise after meeting legendary producer Billy Sherrill, to her star-crossed marriage to music legend George Jones. What emerges is an unforgettable view of a Nashville that no longer exists-and a woman whose life mirrored the sadness captured in her music. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9780143118886

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 14,56
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
De Royaume-Uni vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

9.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2011)
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
The Book Depository US
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. État : New. 206 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the New York Times bestselling biographer-the first book-length portrait of music legend Tammy Wynette. Known for his acclaimed biographies of Neil Young, Russ Meyer, and Andy Milligan, Jimmy McDonough now delivers an emotional and revealing exploration of the life of the Queen of Heartbreak. Based on dozens of interviews, McDonough s book unveils a life of profound extremes, from Wynette s impoverished youth in Mississippi, to her meteoric rise after meeting legendary producer Billy Sherrill, to her star-crossed marriage to music legend George Jones. What emerges is an unforgettable view of a Nashville that no longer exists-and a woman whose life mirrored the sadness captured in her music. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9780143118886

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 14,62
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
De Royaume-Uni vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

10.

Jimmy McDonough
Edité par PENGUIN GROUP (2011)
ISBN 10 : 0143118889 ISBN 13 : 9780143118886
Neuf(s) Quantité : 3
Vendeur
PBShop
(Secaucus, NJ, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre PENGUIN GROUP, 2011. PAP. État : New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. N° de réf. du libraire IB-9780143118886

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 11,22
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,72
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

autres exemplaires de ce livre sont disponibles

Afficher tous les résultats pour ce livre