Kitty Wells, the country music singer whose hits included “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” and “Making Believe,” died July 16. Her family members announced she died peacefully at home following complications from a stroke.
Born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville, Tennessee on August 30, 1919, she played guitar and sang in the Nashville area while still a teenager. She took the stage name Kitty Wells at the suggestion of her husband, Johnnie Wright.
There was a time when parents needed not worry about the lyrics in the songs played on the local country music stations. That was the era in which Kitty Wells rose to the top. In addition to her popular releases, Kitty recorded a number of gospel songs. Her rendition of “Will Your Lawyer Talk to God?”, a song sharply critical of no-fault divorce, was a mixture of both.
Kitty Wells practiced what she preached. She got married and stayed married. Her husband, Johnnie Wright, died in September of 2011, about one month shy of what would have been their 74th wedding anniversary. Kitty Wells managed to maintain stardom as an entertainer at the same time she was a devoted wife and mother.
Kitty Wells, country music legend, the first Queen of Country Music, inductee into The Country Music Hall of Fame, devoted wife and mother, died July 16, 2012 at the age of 92. The world lost more than just a great singer.
Photo of Kitty Wells in 1976: AP Images