Kitty Wells and Me. by Terry Broxson
It was January 13, 1978. It is not my practice to write or speak about spending the night with a woman. But FanStory member Jay Squires implored me. Jay said he admired Kitty from afar. So, I will tell you the true tale of my night with Kitty, the original Queen of Country Music.
Kitty Wells was the first woman to top the country music chart with a number one song. It happened in 1952. The song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" became a major hit and an anthem for women of the day.
The song crossed over, meaning it also charted on the pop charts. Kitty Wells literally paved the way for female country singers like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and many others.
The song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" was written by Louisiana musician Jay Miller. It was a response song to Hank Thompson's hit "The Wild Side of Life." Hank sang about a fiancee who left him for another she met at a roadhouse.
Kitty Wells sang:
"It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels,
As you said in the words of your song.
Too many times married men think they're still single,
And that's caused many a good girl to go wrong."
In truth, when I met Kitty, I had been married to Zoe for four years. But Zoe was not with me. Kitty was with Johnnie Wright. She married him when at eighteen; he was twenty-three. They were together until he died at ninety-seven. She died a few months later at ninety-two.
On that Friday night in 1978, I boarded a Braniff Airways flight to Honolulu. Braniff was a splashy airline in those days. They had one 747 jumbo jet. It had been painted orange. Braniff called it the "Great Pumpkin." It only flew from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Hawaii and back.
I had been invited to interview for a job as the Hawaii Heart Association Executive Director. It would be a lateral move for me, but Zoe and I thought it might be a fun adventure. So off I went.
I was in coach, of course, but the plane wasn't full. I had the first row in the middle of the coach section. There were five seats. The two seats on my right were empty. Next to the empty seats were a man and a woman.
The flight was a direct, non-stop flight with eight hours of flying time. But not this night. We were delayed at take-off due to some mechanical issue. We were two hours late leaving. Once airborne, the crew announced free drinks for everyone. It was now a party plane!
The fellow at the end of my row and I both got cocktails and started talking. He introduced himself as Johnnie. I said, "You know Johnnie, your wife looks like Kitty Wells."
"Terry, she is Kitty; Kitty say hello to Terry. He lives in Dallas."
Johnnie told me they were going to Honolulu to visit one of their children. We talked for a good while. I learned a lot about the life of country music performers. Johnnie and Kitty were delightful people.
The plane made an unscheduled stop in L.A., delaying us even more. Johnnie opened a briefcase to get some pictures of him (he was a singer and musician as well) and Kitty. They signed them and even gave me extras for my mother, a big country music fan.
When we finally left L.A., Kitty stretched out in the middle three seats, Johnnie on one end and me on the other. She went to sleep. I reclined my seat and went to sleep too. I don't know about Johnnie, but that was the night I slept with Kitty Wells.
By the way, Not that anybody probably cares. Do you think I had a chance to get that job? No way. I spent 13 hours on the plane on Friday the 13th and checked into room 1313 at the hotel in Hawaii.
Oh, one more thing, if you thought you might get some trashy gossip, you're wrong. I only put out high-class gossip.
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