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|
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
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