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Hall of Fame Honors Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette photo courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Tammy Wynette photo courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

One of the most distinctive performers in country’s lengthy history will be highlighted at the Country Music Hall of Fame with the Aug. 20 debut of Tammy Wynette: First Lady Of Country Music, Presented By Great American Country Television Network.

Poised for a 10-month run, the exhibit will feature photos, film footage, recordings and memorabilia from her life and career, including awards, stage clothing, her 1977 appointment book and a lead-crystal vase filled with cotton that Tammy picked with her own hands. For years, she kept the vase on her coffee table — likely as a reminder of the working-class roots from which she rose.

“Tammy Wynette was a true steel magnolia, a daughter of the South whose ladylike appearance and slight physical stature belied the magnitude of her grit, determination and talent,” Museum Director Kyle Young says. “Throughout her career, her personal and professional lives were indistinguishably interwoven, resulting in achingly honest recordings and performances to which fans could relate. She helped redefine what it means to be a female country singer.”

An interview with Faith Hill, whose early hits brought her frequent comparisons to Tammy, will be part of the exhibit, demonstrating the influence Tammy has had on contemporary country.

The weekend that the First Lady exhibit opens, the Hall of Fame will offer several other Tammy-related events. Rafe VanHoy, who authored her George Jones duet “Golden Ring,” will speak at a songwriter session Aug. 21. That day will also include a panel discussion, Singing My Song: The Music Of Tammy Wynette, with recording engineer Lou Bradley; producer Steve Buckingham, who ran many of the sessions in her later years; and songwriter Norro Wilson, who co-wrote her hits “Another Lonely Song” and “My Man (Understands).” On Aug. 22, the Hall will feature screenings of a 1987 BBC documentary, “Stand By Your Dreams”; and the 2008 DVD compilation, Legendary Performances: Tammy Wynette.

Billy Sherrill, who co-wrote “Stand By Your Man” and produced Tammy’s first decade of hits, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in May — a dozen years after the First Lady, who died just months before her 1998 admission.

Tammy Wynette: First Lady Of Country Music, Presented By Great American Country Television Network will remain open through June 12, 2011.

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