Celebrating World Book Day… with Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen

I can’t remember how I discovered Tammy Wynette but I imagine it was something that Dolly Parton said about her that alerted me to the D-I-V-O-R-C-E torchsinger. When I discovered she was married five times, my interest significantly piqued. When I found this review,well my interest reached unprecedented heights. Look at at least one of the pictures chosen alone, as well as some of the comments defending her to the detriment of the journalist, shown below:

DM you should be ashamed to give this ‘journalist’ column space. I assume she is a trained psychologist judging by her many comments to the subject. One of the worst written articles I’ve read on here. I’m not a Tammy Wynette fan but what a disrespectful piece of writing by someone who can’t defend themself!

Good God, what is this article???? Is neither reports, informs or reveals anything apart from the total shambolic writing abilities of this “journo”… Please D.M save us from this waffling and pay real writers…. leave this woman to write for the Star or Take a Break.

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Tammy with husband #3, George Jones looking a little long in the tooth.











So, even though I do feel really bad that I failed to get my curated ‘trash fiction’ list ready for World Book Day (March 5th), I can at least offer you a selection of literary quotes from McDonough about the life and times of Tammy Wynette.

So, Tammy, a glamour gal and collector of many husbands over the year. A Christian and a mother (questionable, according to the events depicted) as well as the originator of the song, Stand by Your Man. With so many images available, as well as photoshoots promoting her music, it wouldn’t be hard for the author to find a good cover photo to generate suitable interest for potential readers. For example, one of her glamour shots.

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And if not a glamour shot, why not one of the eye-watering/immensely lit shots of her looking like an extra out of Dynasty?

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So what picture did the author choose?

TW Cover

This one.

Anyway, let’s begin.

First things first, Jimmy McDonough loved this dead woman.

We know this from his letters. Note the way he skillfully reminds Tammy of the events of her life, helpfully elaborating on the order of her husbands, business managers etc for the benefit of the reader.

What’s particularly special about his writing is his conversational tone, as well as his basic understanding of human psychology. Plus he was a fan, helping Tammy (who, of course was dead) to understand the world post-1998, as well as the rise in Tammy drag queens.

First LetterEthosFandom


























The kidnapping

The world since 98The reveal

The book though, if we discussing it critically hit its stride about 540 pages into it 573  length, specifically with the details regarding Tammy’s death. So let’s start with how Tammy was found, and how people reacted (I’ve highlighed how the author, ever present reacted)

McDonough’s coverage of the aftermath is particularly strong here. The National Enquirer would be most impressed.

Funeral plansTheft

Sometimes people say the husband made a scene at the funeral.

The hubby at the funeralReaction to hubby at the funeralThings didn’t improve either at Tammy Towers.


A whole new can of worms

Thank you, McDonough for bringing a rather distasteful tale of death and family avarice to our attention in such an authoritative, literary way. This World Book Day has been an unmitigated success. Let’s end on his final words of wisdom.

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