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Kitty Wells

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Kitty Wells still is the "Queen Of Country Music". She's also still the devoted wife and mother she has always been. Somehow, she always managed to sing songs about problems like infidelity, divorce, and drinking--songs that paved the way for today's female singers--and remain the epitome of a fine country lady.

She was born Muriel Ellen Deason on August 30, 1919 in Nashville, Tennessee. As a teen, she and a cousin formed a duo called the Deason Sisters and played regularly on WSIX radio in Nashville. In 1937, she married Johnny Wright, whose decision to go into music fulltime in 1941 resulted in the family moving frequently. In Knoxville in 1943, Muriel, at Johnny's suggestion, also took a new stage name, Kitty Wells, after an old folk song "Sweet Litty Wells". After spending 1947 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville as Johnnie & Jack (Anglin, Johnny's brother-in-law) and the Tennessee Mountain Boys, the group starred on KWKH's Louisiana Hayride out of Shreveport, Louisiana for four years.

Returning to the Grand Ole Opry at the start of 1952, Wells was still just the "girl singer" with the group, but that was to change after May 1952 when she recorded "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", an answer to Hank Thompson's " The Wild Side Of Life ". While Wells had recorded the song for the session fee it would bring in, and did not expect much of her recording, it quickly became the first solo record by a female singer to reach number one on the country music charts, and Kitty Wells was a star.

Wells continued to cut monster hits, including " Paying For That Back Street Affair ", " Makin' Belive ", " Searching ( For Someone Like You) ", " Left To Right " and "Heartbreak U.S.A.". Wells was voted the number one female country artist for eleven consecutive years by Billboard magazine, and in 1954, Tennessee Governor Frank Clement created a Tennessee Womanhood Award just for her.

Roy Acuff once said, " Kitty has always been thought of as a wonderful lady in show business as well as wife and mother....There will be a lot of water over the dam before country music will be blessed with a finer lady ". Kitty Wells was elected to the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1976

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