Johnny Wright, son Bobby Wright, Kitty Wells, and your blogger.
I have often wondered if Johnny Wright was sensitive to the fact that his wife Kitty Wells was more popular than he was. If he was he never seemed to show it.
After all there were 15 records in the Country Top 20 recorded by Johnny Wright and his singing partner Jack Anglin from 1951 to 1962. As the popular Johnnie and Jack team they were selling records and concert dates with great success. It would only be natural for Wright to want stardom and more fame.
But there was also the fact that in 1952 Kitty Wells recorded the song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” that soon became a country standard. It soon placed Wells on the way to fame that had not come before then to a solo female recording artist.
In 1963 Anglin died in a car crash on his way to the funeral of Patsy Cline. Wright’s career was not over, but it was Kitty Wells who was aimed for the stars.
Some might note that the headline to this post lists the death of Johnny Wright, yet it was Johnnie and Jack who made a name for themselves.
There was a minor name change in 1962, when Wright’s given name was misspelled Johnny on one of Johnnie and Jack’s records. He began spelling his name Johnny after that.
I saw Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright perform two shows in their later years. For all the twists and turns about whose name would be in the bright lights one thing came across when the two of them took the stage. There was no missing the fact that Johnny and Kitty were a team in both music, marriage, and life.
There was an old-fashioned quality to the Kitty Wells show that showcased the musical standards she and her husband had become so well-known for. Like so many of their generation they did not need to be on the road nor shake every hand or autograph every old album.
But they did.
They came from that generation of performer who truly appreciated the fans who had driven many miles and paid for a ticket.
Everyone who came to a Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright Show left with more than music. They also left with a personal memory of meeting the pair.
Not a bad way to be remembered as a performer.