|Birth: ||May 13, 1914|
|Death: ||Sep. 27, 2011|
Country Music Pioneer
(May 13, 1914 ~ Sep. 27, 2011)
Johnnie Wright is not a household name in the country music arena even though he was in the music business 67 years. However, there was a time when his name was widely recognized as a singer who made significant contributions as a solo artist, as a member of the innovative duo Johnnie & Jack and most famously, as the lifelong partner to the Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells.
From the time Johnnie married 18-year-old Muriel Deason in 1937, he was an integral part of her career. Wright gave Deason the stage name "Kitty Wells" and he brought her the landmark hit, It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. When Johnnie and Kitty teamed up, they became one of the most sought after performing duo teams in country music.
Johnnie Wright was born in Mount Juliet, Tennessee (TN) and raised in Nashville, TN. A banjo and fiddle player, he'd been kicking around the barn dance circuit since the early-1930s. In 1938, Johnnie teamed up with Jack Anglin in a duo called Johnnie & Jack and the Tennessee Mountain Boys. They became brothers-in-law When Jack married Johnnie's sister, Louise. Kitty Wells joined the group in 1948.
Anglin was drafted during World War II, which temporally halted the singing team. By 1948, Johnnie & Jack were back in action, headlining the Louisiana Hayride (1948 – 1952). Though she sang on the Hayride, Kitty didn't sing on their records until they came under contract with RCA Records.
In 1949, Johnnie & Jack begin recording in Nashville with RCA Records. Two years later, they charted the singles, Poison Love (No. 4, 1951), Cryin' Heart Blues (No. 5, 1951) and followed with Three Ways of Knowing (No. 7, 1952). One of their most popular recordings during this period, Ashes of Love, did not make it onto the Billboard chart.
During this time, they moved from performing on the Louisiana Hayride to the Grand Ole Opry, where they remained for 15 years. The duo scored their only No. 1 hit in 1954 with a single titled, (Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely. During the next four years, Johnny & Jack charted four more top-10 singles. The duo ended when Jack Anglin was killed (Mar. 8, 1963) in an automobile crash en route to Patsy Cline's memorial service.
Johnnie became a solo recording artist with Decca Records (1964 – 1968) and over the next four years, he charted a dozen hits, including his only No. 1 single, Hello Vietnam(1965). In 1968, Wright had a minor chart single with Kitty Wells, titled We'll Stick Together. They following year, Johnnie and Kitty formed the popular Kitty Wells/Johnnie Wright Family Show. Around that time, they recorded a couple of gospel albums and their act became a mixture of country and gospel music.
On December 31, 2000, the duo performed their farewell concert at the Nashville Nightlife Theater in Nashville, Tennessee., TN They played to a full house of fans, family and friends. Johnnie Wright and Kitty Wells stuck together not only professionally, but as man and wife for nearly eight decades. The couple's 74th anniversary would have been Oct. 30, 2011.
Kitty Wells (1919 - 2012)*
Ruby Wright Taylor (1939 - 2009)*
Spring Hill Cemetery
Created by: Richard Joseph Bell
Record added: Sep 27, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77205428