Sept. 1, 2009 — Eleven years after her death, Tammy Wynette — whose "Stand By Your Man" ranks among the best-known country songs in history — will finally enter the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame during a ceremony Oct. 18 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.
Tammy will be inducted alongside two full-time songwriters who wrote their own iconic pieces: Kye Fleming was responsible for Barbara Mandrell's theme song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool"; and Mark D. Sanders authored Lee Ann Womack's mega-hit "I Hope You Dance."
"Kye, Mark and Tammy have made many poignant and enduring contributions to the music world and certainly deserve to take their places among their gifted peers," said Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation Chairman Roger Murrah, whose own songwriting credits include hits by Alan Jackson, Alabama and Blake Shelton. "It's an honor for us to recognize them for their outstanding accomplishments."
"Stand By Your Man" was an exercise in speed. Tammy and producer Billy Sherrill co-wrote it in about 20 minutes during a recording session in August 1968 when they had finished cutting several other songs and still had time left on the clock. It was not, however, Tammy's lone contribution as a writer. She also penned the aching ballads "'Til I Can Make It On My Own" and "Another Lonely Song," as well as "Two Story House," recorded in a 1980 duet with George Jones.
Kye created more than 20 hit songs, most of them with frequent co-writer Dennis Morgan in a flurry of activity when they wrote for Pi-Gem Music, a publishing company owned by Charley Pride and producer Tom Collins during the late 1970s early '80s. They were adept at crafting material for artists that Tom produced, yielding the Barbara Mandrell titles "Fooled By A Feeling" and "Sleeping Single In A Double Bed," the Sylvia hits "Nobody" and "Like Nothing Ever Happened," the Ronnie Milsap classics "I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World" and "Smoky Mountain Rain" and Steve Wariner's "All Roads Lead To You." Kye's creative high point is arguably "Give Me Wings," a tender Michael Johnson study in the art of loving without smothering. Dennis Morgan was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall in 2004.
Mark D. Sanders' name was frequently in the parentheses beneath hit song titles during the 1990s. He wrote John Anderson's "Money In The Bank," Ricochet's "Daddy's Money," Lonest ar's "No News," George Strait's "Blue Clear Sky" and Diamond Rio's "Mirror, Mirror," and recently made waves with Jack Ingram's single "That's A Man." "I Hope You Dance" earned Song of the Year honors from the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and the Grammy Awards; was hailed by the National Endowment of the Arts as one of the most significant songs of the 20th century; and became a centerpiece in the Tyler Perry movie The Family That Preys, featured in the script's dialogue with a Gladys Knight rendition used over the ending credits.
Among the more than 170 previous Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees are Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Vince Gill and Kris Kristofferson.