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Tammy Wynette Allegedly Angered Nancy Reagan By Kissing President Ronald Reagan

Country Western Singer Tammy Wynette sings ìStand By Your Manî to President Ronald Reagan during a Fourth of July picnic at the Daytona Speedway after he attended the Firecracker 400 stock car race, July 4, 1984 in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)

In the same Associated Press (AP) article from 1991 that tells the story of how country singer Tammy Wynette saved ex-boyfriend Burt Reynolds from drowning in her bathtub, we learn that Wynette might've raised some eyebrows after sitting in then-president Ronald Reagan's lap and kissing him.

The AP report by Joe Edwards says the incident occurred during one of Wynette's six performances at the White House. In the process, the First Lady of Country music allegedly caught the ire of First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Wynette downplayed the alleged controversy to Edwards.

"I kind of liked it and he seemed comfortable with it," Wynette said. "If it wasn't proper protocol, I think someone would have jerked me off the seat. I worked for him four times after that, so I don't think there was any problem."

Jimmy McDonough's book Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen identifies Sept. 30, 1982 as the date of the Wynette/Regan kiss and "Stand By Your Man" as the song being sung as she sat in the president's lap.

Wynette flirted with audience members regularly, but she likely had never set her sights on someone with Secret Service protection.

"The act isn't unusual for Wynette--during live shows, she'd often go out in the audience, zero in on some hapless husband and melt him down in a similar fashion," McDonough wrote. "But this is the president."

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McDonough also shared a close Wynette confidant's memories of an awkward exchange on the White House lawn.

"Ronald Reagan definitely had a thing for Tammy," said Wynette's hairdresser, Jan Smith (as quoted by McDonough). "After it was over, Tammy said to me, 'Oh my God, Jan, that was so embarrassing! He swabbed my tonsils!' Well, Nancy Reagan got real out of joint about it."

 

President Ronald Reagan gets a kiss from country western singer Tammy Wynette after she sang "Stand By Your Man" to him during a picnic after the Firecracker 400 stock race at Daytona International Speedway, July 5, 1984, Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Eliot Schechter)

Wynette performances at Reagan's public appearances and Republican fundraisers include the source of the above photo, a July 5, 1984 barbecue at Daytona International Speedway. She kissed the president at least once more during his first term, so chances are, all was forgiven (or no one was mad to begin with).

Born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Tremont, Mississippi, the future Tammy Wynette (May 5, 1942 - April 6, 1998) charted 20 No. 1 songs during her 30-plus year career.

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Tammy Wynette Allegedly Angered Nancy Reagan By Kissing President Ronald Reagan