On Aug. 28, 1968, Tammy Wynette stepped into the recording studio and cut “Stand By Your Man.” At the time, the singer had no idea the track would become one of the most recognizable country songs in history.
Wynette reportedly wrote the track with producer Billy Sherrill in only 15 minutes. Initially, she wasn’t a huge fan of the song because it was very different than her previous songs and had a high note that challenged her vocal abilities. Later in life, Wynette shared that she had grown fond of the song over the years. She went on to sing it during almost every live performance during her career.
“Stand By Your Man” was released during the women’s movement in America. At the time, many criticized the track as an anti-feminist song that put men on a pedestal. Wynette disputed this argument her entire life, saying the song was about accepting your husband even with his faults. The controversy helped the song carve a spot in pop culture for years to come.
The song’s influence stayed strong throughout the following decades. In 1992, Hillary Clinton addressed her husband’s alleged affair with Gennifer Flowers by saying she “wasn’t some little woman ‘standing by my man’ like Tammy Wynette.” Clinton’s comments quickly drew harsh backlash from the public and Wynette herself.
Although Wynette died in 1998, her legacy will live on for years to come, thanks to landmark songs like this one.