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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live The Queen
This biography of Tammy Wynette shares the weaknesses of much of American writing about the entertainment industry. Not content with providing a timeline McDonough sets the context in terms of Wynette's late career performances, hinting at bad choices, personality deficiencies and physical illness. When the timeline begins it's disjointed, rather like Wynnette's...
Published on 1 Oct. 2010 by Neutral

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2.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read.
This book is not very easy to read. It seems not particularly well written, it just seems to name drop all the way through. It focuses very much on Tammy's drug problems, illness, various divorces and marriage to George Richey and also shows Tammy in a very negative light as a selfish, not very nice person, even though the author seems to worship her. It's very confusing...
Published 23 months ago by Mr. Thomas Perkins


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live The Queen, 1 Oct. 2010
By 
Neutral "Phil" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
This biography of Tammy Wynette shares the weaknesses of much of American writing about the entertainment industry. Not content with providing a timeline McDonough sets the context in terms of Wynette's late career performances, hinting at bad choices, personality deficiencies and physical illness. When the timeline begins it's disjointed, rather like Wynnette's lifestyle. Victoria Wynette Pugh was born in 1942. She always had a problem with facts and much of what she claimed about her childhood - and the rest of her life - was expanded to suit her own purposes, unlike Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton who came from poorer backgrounds.

What she shared with them was a desire to escape from the poverty into which they were born. The difference between them was that Lynn and Parton found contentment in their success whereas Wynette was still looking for self-fulfillment. Like many poor Southerners Wynette listened to country music radio, learning all the lines and harmonising while imagining she was on stage with George Jones (as one day she would be). Gospel music was popular and her mother's record collection also influenced her taste in music. She often drifted to sleep to the sound of Hank Williams singing "No One Will Ever Know" - a recording this reviewer still listens to regularly.

As a teenager Wynette was a fun loving, adventurous, rebel who, according to one friend, "walked through life like she owned it". A month before her school graduation was due she married Euple Byrd. It was a mismatch. They argued a lot about sex. He wanted it, she was uninterested. Despite having four children sex was not always one of Wynette's priorities. Asked about an alleged love affair with Porter Wagoner she said, "if Porter was Adam and I was Eve, there would have been no Cain and Abel". Byrd is often painted as being unable to hold down a job, although his family claim this was because he was always having to follow Wynette wherever she went. It was Wynette who wanted things, a point ironically noted by a long time friend who said, "I'm not sure Tammy ever had a climax.....because if she'd had a climax, she'd want another one, wouldn't she?"

Wynette took a out a beautician's licence (which she renewed every year) combining working in a beauty parlour with a regular radio spot. Female country singers were still something of a rarity. Many Nashville producers turned her down before she turned up at Billy Sherrill's office. He was her last chance. She recorded Apartment No.9 which just missed the top forty but thereafter it was hit after hit and award after award. Wynette was backed by a formidable array of session musicians including bassist Bob Moore, "Buddy" Harman on drums, steel player Pete Drake and Hargus "Pig" Robbins on piano. That such skilled and experienced session men were impressed by Wynette's voice was testament to her natural talent and outstanding emotional delivery. She was firmly in the tradition of country singers who lived their lives though their songs. Real or imagined, when she sang a song she was singing as if it was her experience. And she met George Jones.

It wasn't long before the musically harmonious Jones declared his love for Wynette and she left her second husband, Don Chapel, for a six year marriage to one of country music's biggest stars. When Chapel went to the studio to serve the divorce papers he was prevented from delivering them personally because Wynette was recording her next single - "Stand By Your Man"!!!! The song became identified with Wynette. It also made a social impact, coming as it did as second wave feminism was in vogue. It was praised and scorned in equal measure. As singers Jones and Wynette were superb duetists, although only three of their nine singles reached number one, including the beautifully performed "Golden Ring" which did so after they had broken up. As a married couple they were a disaster. "They both had too many dollars and not enough sense" said a friend. For Jones it was a case of "you can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em", For Wynette it was a case of arrested emotional development, wanting everything she wanted, even when she already had it.

Wynette married twice more. The first was to Michael Tomlin, a real estate developer, which was quickly annulled and finally to George Richey. By then Wynette was addicted to narcotics, partly because she had severe stomach problems but also to hold her fragile personality together. Gradually, Richey and his family assumed control of Wynette's life, including some allege, her mental state. Although Richey did not remarry until three years after Wynette's death, there were suspicions he was seeing his next wife, Shiela Slaughter, before Wynette died. Virtually everything Wynette owned went to Richey's family - her own daughters were excluded - and some saw his public display of sorrow as shallow and hypocritical.

Maybe so but, in the words of the country song, "It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go" and Tammy Wynette left far more than anyone could ever take from her. Despite stylistic misgivings the book is well worth five stars, will outshine many other biographies of entertainers and represents good value for money.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read., 3 Sept. 2013
By 
Mr. Thomas Perkins (Plymouth, Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
This book is not very easy to read. It seems not particularly well written, it just seems to name drop all the way through. It focuses very much on Tammy's drug problems, illness, various divorces and marriage to George Richey and also shows Tammy in a very negative light as a selfish, not very nice person, even though the author seems to worship her. It's very confusing. If you want a Tammy Wynette biography I would recommend 'The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George by Georgette Jones' and 'Tammy Wynette: A Daughter Recalls Her Mother's Tragic Life and Death by Jackie Daly'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book but I found it is so sad, 20 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
I loved this book but I found it so sad, such an amazing talent but Tammy comes across as being so very lonely. Such a pity she couldn't beat the drugs. The author should be commended though, he brought her to life and allowed her to shine despite her problems. i found it sad that Tammy felt a need to be cruel to others, Tammy didn't need to do that she was the Queen of country music. It's amazing what fear will do to you. Great book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Money of itself can't buy happiness, 16 May 2012
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
As a huge fan of Tammy's music, I found the story very depressing, but the author didn't do Tammy any favors even though he attacked some of the people who should have supported Tammy.

Although some other reviewers suggest that the author is a fan of Tammy's music, he can't be that big a fan even though he appears to have listened to most (or even all) of her albums. He describes her solos album tracks as mostly filler, although there are exceptions. (Sadly, he doesn't mention Sweet music man among the exceptions; I rate Tammy's version as the best of all the versions I've come across including those by Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Anne Murray, Billie Jo Spears, Waylon Jennings and the original artist, Kenny Rogers.) Most of the album tracks he enjoys are from the 1987 album Higher ground, or from Tammy's sixties recordings, with only a few in between. Similarly, he doesn't think much of the album tracks from Tammy's duet albums. When it comes to singles, it seems the author likes about half of them, both solo and duet. All things considered, he sounds more like a casual fan rather than a huge fan. Fair enough, but by disparaging much of Tammy's music, he only adds to the depressing nature of Tammy's story. Along the way, he manages to dislike a lot of music recorded by other people, leaving me to wonder what he actually enjoys. The author also makes long diversions into discussing people other than Tammy, when one wonders if this really is a book about Tammy.

Tammy's personal story is very sad. Her father died while she was still an infant, although her mother eventually re-married and it seems that the step-father looked after Tammy properly. Nevertheless, it seems that Tammy forever felt the loss of her natural father and this, coupled with her uneasy relationship with her mother, may well explain why Tammy never found happiness in her adult life, during which she had five husbands and probably ought to have divorced the fifth too but didn`t. It was around the time of her fifth marriage, or perhaps a little before, that Tammy started becoming addicted to drugs, and the problem became steadily worse over the next two decades, culminating in her death at the early age of 55. Even during this period, Tammy had chances for a comeback that she was unable to capitalize on, including Justified and ancient (her quirky recording with the KLF) and the fall-out from Hillary Clinton`s gaffe, when she said she wasn`t standing by her man while clearly doing exactly that.

Tammy`s death did not come as a surprise to anybody who was even vaguely aware of her record of ill-health, but the actual circumstances remain a mystery. Tammy`s life is also something of a mystery, but her music will live forever. And unlike the author, I enjoy most of it rather than just half her singles and a smattering of album tracks.

I can't say that I like this book, because the story is depressing and the author is irritating, but it is an essential read for any true fan of Tammy's music. In the book, the author sometimes quotes people saying that Tammy deserved better, Tammy certainly deserved better than this book, although there`s just about enough here to give it three stars.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SUPER READ, 22 Jun. 2010
By 
Mr. Nicholas R. Muller (london england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
i have always been a fan of tammy one of my regret in life is i never saw her live in concert i kept putting it off. getting back to the book its wonderful i just couldnt put it down its her whole life warts and all i recommended this to any fans of tammy or country music now you think dolly parton is a super star tammy was too maybe she was a bigger star she was the first country star to go platinum in record sells so the book says there a fact for you. one more there was a good film of her life called stand by your man a made for tv film so it may never come out on dvd worth a look if they show it on tv again
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book, 17 May 2010
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This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
This book is a must for anyone, especially Tammy fans. It tells the true story of a remarkable woman. The book shows the facets of a complicated superstar.
The tragedy unfolds gradually and reveals those who are clearly responsible inc Tammy herself for her early tragic death. This book tells it all warts an all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, good value for money, 5 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
Good book, good price, arrived quickly, no complaints
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars book very badley marked, 14 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette (Hardcover)
not very good my book had a lot off dirty marks on it not impressed....but apart from that all ok
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Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen: The Biography of Tammy Wynette by Jimmy McDonough (Hardcover - 4 Mar. 2010)
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