6 June 2003
He's just a man
The Country Music Television list of 100 Greatest Songs didn't contain too many surprises, though the presence of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" at the top will undoubtedly reinforce the notion that this 1968 Billy Sherrill production is the ultimate antifeminist anthem.
Which, if you ask me, it isn't. The words are submissive, maybe, but there's always been a streak of quiet acceptance running through country music Nashville, despite friends in low places, is a very conservative place and boats are not rocked unnecessarily and while the words (by Sherrill and Wynette) never question, never complain, Tammy's voice, to me anyway, sounds more sorrowful than resolute: she'll never leave him because, well, that's something you just don't do.
And yes, I know "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" came out the same year. But there's a reason they spell it out in front of the kid.
Posted at 10:11 AM to Tongue and Groove
One small quibble: Tammy Wynette may have sung the penultimate version, but, and I could be wrong, this is the final validation of the genius of David Allan Coe.
Coe did wondrous things with this song, yes. So did Lyle Lovett, whose version closes out Neil Jordan's film The Crying Game. (If this song were just a tract, nobody would have bothered to remake it.)
I think Coe wrote it . . . which would be the final irony in a career spent as the outlaw of Country Music.
The record label says otherwise, at least on Tammy's.
"We have both kinds of music here...country AND western!"
- The Blues Brothers
I want to live where that radio station is.
The soon-to-be-defunct KJON in Anadarko, Oklahoma comes pretty close to that; there's a dollop of Southern gospel, but by and large, it's classic C&W interspersed with Gene Autry-style Lone Prairie stuff.
Lets see now...Tammy has "stood by" how many men? Five? Six?