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franklin county times

Red Bay Museum co-hosts Tammy Wynette celebration

A celebration of the life and legacy of Tammy Wynette is on the horizon for Red Bay Museum.

May 14 the Red Bay Museum and The Tammy Wynette Legacy Park in Tremont, Miss., will honor country music legend and superstar Tammy Wynette with an 80 Year Celebration of Tammy Wynette Music.

As part of the festivities, the museum in Red Bay will be open that day starting at 9 a.m. with no admission fee; donations will be accepted.

Starting in the afternoon, musical entertainment will be provided in Tremont, Miss., at the Legacy Center, and food will be available at the restaurant located there, Kelly’s Kitchen.

Fans, friends and family from across the country, as well as some from overseas, are expected to be in attendance, including some of Tammy Wynette’s daughters.

Virginia Wynette Pugh was born to Hollis and Mildred Russell Pugh May 5, 1942, and passed away April 6, 1998. She was born in her grandfather’s house in the Bounds Crossroads community and went to Hopewell, a local rural school there.

She later went to high school in Tremont, Miss., but married and dropped out weeks before her high school graduation.

She had four daughters, Gwen, Jackie, Tina and Georgette and was married five times.

Her music career began in Birmingham, performing on the Country Boy Eddie show in the morning and working as a hairdresser during the day. She eventually left Birmingham and moved to Nashville to pursue her career, where she met Billy Sherrill, a producer from Phil Campbell.

Her most famous marriage was to George Jones, someone she idolized at a young age. Together they were known as the king and queen of country music.

Known as The First Lady of Country Music, Wynette’s Greatest Hits Album sold more than a million copies – the first for a female in country music.

“Stand By Your Man” was her greatest hit song, which she defended to feminists throughout her career.

Although Wynette was born, raised and schooled in Mississippi, the closest town she lived to was Red Bay, just across the state line, 10 miles from her home. She would say her hometown was Red Bay – to the distaste of Mississippi and Tremont residents – since this is where she would go to shop, to the movies, the doctor and visit family and friends.

She performed five benefit concerts for Red Bay School through the years.

The Tammy Wynette display at the Red Bay Museum is the largest collection on display. The exhibit contains personal clothing and stage gowns of Wynette’s, including her makeup train case that she used up until her death. Metal pieces with initials TW and GJ from their home in Nashville can be seen, as well as airplane seats from her personal jet.

Wynette items will be available for sale, including T-shirts, ornaments, albums and more.

The museum is regularly open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30-4 p.m., with admission of $5. People may also visit the museum on Fridays through the Civitan Thrift Store located next door, which is open Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To learn more about the museum, contact director and curator Scotty Kennedy at 256-356-8758 or scottydk@att.net, or visit the museum website at redbaymuseum.org and its Facebook page.

The Tammy Wynette Legacy Center is located in Tremont, Miss., and contains an exhibit including her piano from her childhood. The phone number for the center is 662-397-4827, or contact Larry Cantrell, director, at 601-946-6215 or lqcantrell@gmail.com.

Both locations are always looking for more Tammy Wynette items to display as well as items related to the history of either the town or the school in Red Bay or Tremont.

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