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Kitty Wells

Ellen Muriel Deason (August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012), known professionally as Kitty Wells, was an American pioneering female country music singer. She broke down a female barrier in country music with her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" which also made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country superstar. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” would also be her first of several pop cross over hits. Wells is the only female artist to be awarded top female vocalist awards for 14 consecutive years. Her chart topping hits continued until the mid-1960s, paving the way for and inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.

Wells ranks as the sixth-most successful female vocalist in the history of the Billboard country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn's book The Top 40 Country Hits. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1991, she became the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells' success and influence on country music garnered her a title "Queen of Country Music'.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 30, 1919 (Nashville), Died July 16, 2012 (Nashville)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1949 - 1972

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, leader

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 503 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor E0VB-4020 10-in. 3/27/1950 How far is heaven? Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band vocalist  
Victor E0VB-4021 10-in. 3/27/1950 My mother Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band vocalist  
Victor E0VB-4022 10-in. 3/27/1950 Make up your mind Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band vocalist  
Victor E0VB-4023 10-in. 3/27/1950 All smiles tonight Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band vocalist  
Victor D9VB-0808 10-in. 1/31/1949 Death at the bar Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band vocalist, leader  
Victor D9VB-0809 10-in. 1/31/1949 Love or hate Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band and male vocal duo vocalist, leader  
Victor D9VB-0810 10-in. 1/31/1949 Gathering flowers for the master's bouquet Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band and male vocal harmony vocalist, leader  
Victor D9VB-0811 10-in. 1/31/1949 Don't wait the last minute to pray Tennessee Mountain Boys ; Kitty Wells Female vocal solo, with string band vocalist, leader  
Decca NA 2717 5/3/1952 It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2718 5/3/1952 I don't want your money, I want your time Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2719 5/3/1952 Searching for a soldier's grave Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2720 5/3/1952 I'm too lonely to smile Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2829 9/16/1952 The things I might have been Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2830 9/16/1952 I heard the jukebox playing Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2831 9/16/1952 A wedding ring ago Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2832 9/16/1952 Divided by two Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2913 1/12/1953 Crying steel guitar waltz Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2914 1/12/1953 Paying for that back street affair Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2915 1/12/1953 Icicles hanging from your heart Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2916 1/12/1953 I don't claim to be an angel Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2984 3/15/1953 Honky tonk waltz Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2985 3/15/1953 The life they live in songs Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2986 3/15/1953 You said you could do without me Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 2987 3/15/1953 Whose shoulder will you cry on Kitty Wells vocalist  
Decca NA 3075 7/10/1953 Hey Joe Kitty Wells vocalist  
(Results 1-25 of 503 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wells, Kitty," accessed May 22, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/350416.

Wells, Kitty. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/350416.

"Wells, Kitty." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 22 May 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/350416

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