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George and Tammy: Love is undeniably the sole thing that moves us all. It sets us up for adrenaline-rushing adventures and a roller coaster ride of emotions. It keeps us warm on winter nights and gives us butterflies.

It’s the inspiration for songs and the stuff of legends.

Throughout the times, we’ve seen, heard, read, and watched so many amazing love stories with couples, both real and fictional. However, often we tend to forget that love isn’t always just about the butterflies or the romance between two individuals, or the adrenaline rush. It comes in many forms. If you don’t look closely, you might miss it!

For love that is as unexpected as a man’s sudden declaration of his intentions towards another man’s wife at a dinner table can be just as true.

Tammy was born Virginia Wynette Pugh in 1942 in rural Itawamba County, Mississippi. She got married at 17 to Euple Bryd. After three daughters, she got divorced and moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.  She soon married Don Chapel and eventually signed with Epic Records. Her contract with Epic Records gave her the backing she needed to excel, and she went on to do just that. Under the production of Billy Sherrill, her first single was released in 1966 called “Apartment No. 9“. In 1967, she had her first commercial success with the single “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad“. In the late sixties, Wynette’s career rose further with the number one Billboard country singles “I Don’t Wanna Play House“, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and the self-penned “Stand by Your Man“. Rolling Stone said, “She came out the gate with a barrage of successful singles…”

At the conclusion of Episode 1 of the series, Tammy had a rather unconventional love declaration by Jones while eating dinner with her husband. Her then-husband, Don Chapel, had been disrespectful towards her, and Jones had flipped the table and professed love for her right there and then. This is actually what really happened, albeit the circumstances are a tad different; Wynette’s three daughters came down with food poisoning and had to be taken to the hospital. Jones showed up and supported Wynette through the ordeal and came to the Wynette/Chapel house the next day for dinner.

Tammy and her children left her 2nd husband and never looked back. She got married to Jones shortly after that. They had a daughter, and their music careers progressed all the more. The couple made beautiful music together even after their divorce in 1979.

Their daughter, Georgette Jones, delivered an all-encompassing memoir about her parents, The Three of Us: Growing up with George and Tammy, in 2011. She wrote about her memories of her parents and how, beneath the fame and the glamor, they had been two loving, caring individuals and wonderful parents. They were sensational humans—albeit with a flaw or two, irrespective of the music and their love affair. This is why she was rather reluctant to agree to the Hollywood adaptation of her parents’ lives.

Georgette Jones

The movie adaptation of George and Tammy was based on Georgette’s book. It illuminated the intricacies of the couple’s romance and the personalities of both individuals. The movie was played by Jessica Chastain as Tammy Wynette and Michael Shannon as George Jones. It follows Tammy’s marriage to Jones and features most of the couple’s hit duets and singles. Chastain has earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television nomination for her portrayal of the country legend.

They did a fantastic job in personalizing Tammy and George, as Georgette observed after seeing the cast for the movie. She broke down when she saw Michael Shannon dressed as her dad on set. “I wasn’t expecting to look at him and see my dad in him, but I did. It was just a very emotional experience, but it made me feel even better about that process.”

Although she had reservations about the adaptation, after seeing the episodes, she felt relieved. “They did a wonderful job putting so much into just six episodes,” she said, “They just really were able to capture it.” She made a cameo as a backup singer in the finale episode. She’d been prepping to pay the set a visit, and producers had asked if she’d like to make an appearance, and she’d happily agreed.

Although Tammy and George didn’t stay as a couple for long, they showed us a form of love that’s oftentimes buried underneath glamor. Tammy and George got divorced in 1975 and still tried to make amends romantically. “They tried to date for the longest time, even after divorce. They still kept trying, which shows how much they cared about each other— that they kept hoping the circumstances would be different enough that they could finally make it work,” Georgette said.

Theirs was a love, persisting. As Tammy sang in her hit single Stand By Your Man, love is forgiving and understanding that the other person is, like you, just a human. Their love wasn’t perfect; it was human. It had its good and bad days, but it was beautiful. It was a love meant to happen. And even Georgette believed that irrespective of what her mother’s ex-husband had done; it would have inevitably happened regardless.

Tammy and George taught us that love can be beautifully unexpected and short but still amazing and filled to the brim with memories that you wouldn’t trade for the world, even when the love doesn’t work out.

Wynette has sold an estimated 30 million records worldwide. She has received two Grammy Awards, three Country Music Association awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards. Wynette was also among country music’s first female performers to have discs certified gold and platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Her influence as a country music artist led to several inductions into music associations. This includes inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

About Suzanne Tripaldi

Suzanne brings a vast array of business development and public relations experience, having worked with numerous major brands including the Trump Organization, Capri Capital, Bvlgari, and Bentley Motors. A graduate of Rutgers University, Suzanne combines her years of experience with an ever-searching eye for new ideas to promote business development to its utmost.