Kitty Wells

Twenty Greatest Hits

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After an unsuccessful stint as a radio singer and a stretch as a Chet Atkins protege at RCA Victor in the late '40s, Kitty Wells finally fit right into country music in the early '50s, starting with her response to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life," the once-controversial, now standard "It Wasn't Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." For over 20 years, Wells--born Muriel Deason in Nashville in 1918--was a trailblazing female country singer, the music's first huge female star, and an enormous influence on later stars like Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn. Though her voice was not the rich, expressive instrument that Cline or Wynette had, there was a directness, emotional maturity, and sly wit to her singing on tracks like "I Can't Stop Loving You" that made Wells among the few traditional country artists of the '50s to continue having hits well into the '70s.

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