TO FANS of country music Tammy Wynette, who died on Monday aged 55, will always be one of the greats, writes John Carlin. To the rest, she will be remembered as the singer of "Stand By Your Man", the 1968 song whose enduring relevance has been highlighted in recent months by the marital predicament of America's First Lady.In 1992, when Bill Clinton's presidential candidacy was under threat from reports of an affair with Gennifer Flowers, Mrs Clinton went on national television with her husband gamely, and rather contradictorily, to declare, "I'm not sitting here like some little woman, standing by my man like Tammy Wynette".
Wynette responded angrily. Mrs Clinton, she said, "offended every true country music fan". Mrs Clinton apologised, saying she didn't mean to hurt Wynette's feelings. Graciously, Wynette agreed to perform at a Clinton fund-raiser.
In truth, Mrs Clinton - the highly educated, liberated woman - has stood by her man a lot more meekly than Wynette did hers. She was married five times, four of them before she had reached the age of 35.
Wynette died peacefully at her home in Nashville. The cause of death was a blood clot.