An oral history of the recording of Tammy Wynette’s hit “Stand By Your Man.”

From The Wall Street Journal:

[image]Mr. Sherrill, pianist: When we recorded, the guys didn’t use a formal arrangement, just numbers—like 1-1-1-5 and 5-5-5-1 and so on. The numbers stood for chords. If we played in the key of C, then No. 1 would be C. This allowed us to change keys if we had to without transposing the music.

When the song ended, it was like a graveyard. Everyone just sat there and looked at each other. Someone finally broke the ice by saying, “Damn.” Tammy started laughing when she realized that everyone was as much in love with the song as she was.

When we listened to the playback, I was awestruck by her voice. But in the days of singles and radio, the opening was critical. Pete [Drake] had kicked it off with his wonderful pedal steel guitar, but to me the sound gave away too much. Tammy said, “Let’s try something else,” and she was right.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal