Remembering Kitty Wells – First Female Star in Country Music

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Thursday All American Morning News with Eric Scott

Country's Kitty Wells

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7/19/2012 (Courtesy — Good Morning! The death of Kitty Wells on Monday (July 16), at age 92, marked the passing of the first female star in the history of country music. In a simple statement on her website, Loretta Lynn writes, “Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times. She was my hero. If I had never heard of Kitty Wells, I don’t think I would have been a singer myself. I wanted to sound just like her, but as far as I am concerned, no one will ever be as great as Kitty Wells. She truly is the Queen of Country Music.”

Although she would ascend to country-music royalty as Kitty Wells, Muriel Ellen Deason was born on August 30, 1919, in Nashville, to parents who were musicians. She quit school during the Depression and took a job at the Washington Manufacturing Company, earning nine dollars a week ironing shirts. She also performed on the radio in a quartet called the Deason Sisters, with her two sisters and their cousin, Bessie Choate. Muriel’s stage name, “Kitty Wells,” came from a nineteenth-century tune popularized in 1930 by the Pickard Family. In 1937, at 18, she married musician Johnnie Wright, who died in 2011. They were married just short of 74 years.

-Eric Scott

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