Virginia Wynette Pugh

CR023/PH09 – Loneliness Surrounds: Virginia Wynette Pugh

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Country music is full of rags-to-riches stories, like the one about how Virginia Wynette Pugh became Tammy Wynette. In a way, it’s true. Even after becoming the most successful woman country singer at that point in history, the life she lived was hard and painful. But if you want to know what actually happened in that life then she’s the last person you should ask.

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Dallas Frazier

CR022/PH08 – Dallas Frazier: Can’t Get There From Here

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Some of the best songs you’ve ever heard were written by Dallas Frazier. Don’t recognize the name? Don’t worry. You’ll remember it forever after this episode, especially those of you who love Charley Pride, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Connie Smith, Charlie Rich, George Jones, The Oak Ridge Boys, Emmylou Harris, Gene Watson, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Bare, Stoney Edwards, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson…

You get the point. Here’s the story.

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Pappy Daily

CR021/PH07 – Pappy Daily, Gene Pitney and How George Jones Came to Be on Musicor

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This whole story began with a pinball machine and jukebox mogul in Texas jumping over to the independent record business of the 1950s. When he hitched his wagon to a Singing Marine who became the Greatest Country Singer Ever, it served Pappy Daily well through the following decade. Then, out of nowhere, the ride suddenly ended. “What went wrong?” is the obvious question to ask, here, but it’s not the right one. We need to talk about who went wrong. The answer nearly everyone’s accepted for going on 40 years now is demonstrably untrue but we can only learn the truth through a deep dive on the country music record industry of the 1960s and by taking a look at how the careers of 2 international pop stars built a throne for The King of Broken Hearts.

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All to Pieces - George Jones Phase II

CR020/PH06 – All to Pieces: George Jones, Phase II

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In the early 1960s, George Jones had a huge hit record featuring such a phenomenal vocal performance it instantly turned him into a living legend. He didn’t handle it well.

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George Jones_Starday Recording Artist

CR019/PH05 – Wandering Soul: George Jones, Starday Recording Artist

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There are some personalities who would embrace being called The Greatest Country Singer Ever or, at least, settle into the role once it became clear the brand was eternal. George Jones did not have one of those personalities. The fame and fortune generated by his talent made him want to run away, so he spent decades running… toward something even worse than what he was trying to escape.

Was there ever a chance of this story playing out any differently? Probably not, no. But what in the hell even happened here? Our search for answers takes us back to Texas for one Singing Marine’s perspective on what it was like when lightning started flashing and thunder started clashing as he took the country music world by storm.

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