For the past few years, Cherry Red imprint Morello Records has been reissuing the Epic Records catalogue of late country legend Tammy Wynette on a series of two-fers. With their latest release, due this Friday, April 13, Morello is going back to the very beginning with the new two-fer of Wynette's first two solo albums: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad and Take Me To Your World/I Don't Wanna Play House. These are the albums in which Wynette's pure country sound first blossomed.
By the time she moved to Nashville in 1966, 23-year old Virginia Wynette Pugh had already experienced a lot of living. Raised by her grandparents after her father passed away when she was an infant, Pugh married her first husband a month before her high school graduation. She became a beautician, but always had musical aspirations which her husband did not share. Pugh left her husband before the birth of their third daughter. An appearance on an Alabama television station lead to a short gig backing up Porter Wagoner on tour. Fueled by this, Pugh moved with her children to Nashville to pursue music. She eventually signed with Epic Records after auditioning for producer Billy Sherrill, who was then having success with David Houston. Sherrill suggested Pugh adopt a new stage name and Tammy Wynette was born.
The pair got to work immediately and Wynette's first single was released in October, 1966. "Apartment # 9", a Johnny Paycheck/Fern Foley/Charles Owen tune also recorded by Bobby Austin, hit # 44 on the Billboard Country chart for Wynette. She would have much greater success with her next single, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," co-written by Sherrill and his frequent collaborator, Glenn Sutton. It would climb to # 3 on the country charts after its February, 1967 release. Wynette's debut album, Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad, was released just two months later in April. In addition to the singles, it also included songs written by Hank Cochran, Dallas Frazier and Bill Owens, among others, and a cover of Loretta Lynn's hit "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)". The album would perform well, peaking at # 7 on the country album charts.
Wynette's next project would be a collaboration with David Houston. Sherrill teamed up his two stars for the duet album titled My Elusive Dreams. Wynette notched her first country # 1 when its title track hit the top of the charts in June. Her success would continue when her solo single, the Sherrill/Sutton song "I Don't Wanna Play House" also peaked at # 1. Wynette received the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal for her performance. In December, 1967, Wynette released another Sherrill/Sutton tune as a single. "Take Me To Your World" would become her third country # 1 in a row. The next month, her sophomore LP, Take Me To Your World/I Don't Wanna Play House hit shelves. Aside from the two chart-toppers, its 11 tracks included another Sherrill/Sutton composition, songs by Norro Wilson and Webb Pierce and Wayne Walker, plus a cover of Bobbie Gentry's recent hit, "Ode to Billie Joe." The album would perform better than its predecessor, hitting # 3 on the country charts. And while Wynette had already had success in her career to this point, it would truly skyrocket with her next two albums: D-I-V-O-R-C-E and Stand By Your Man. (Both were released together on a two-fer last year from Morello.)
This new reissue from Morello has been produced by Lee Simmonds. It includes an 8-page color booklet with a two page essay by country music historian Tony Byworth. Remastering has been done Alan Wilson at Western Star Studios.
If you would like to revisit the start of Tammy Wynette's remarkable career, we've got the full tracklisting and preorder links below.
- Apartment #9
- Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)
- Don't Touch Me
- There Goes My Everything
- Send Me No Roses
- Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
- Walk Through This World With Me
- I'm Not Mine to Give
- I Wound Easy (But I Heal Fast)
- Almost Persuaded
- I Don't Wanna Play House
- Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town
- The Phone Call
- It's My Way
- Take Me To Your World
- (Or) Is It Love
- Fuzzy Wuzzy Ego
- Ode To Billie Joe
Tracks 1-10 from Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad, Epic Records LP BN 26305, 1967
Tracks 11-21 from Take Me To Your World/I Don't Wanna Play House, Epic Records LP BN 26353, 1968