Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Your Lips are Sweet as Honey, but There's Poison in Your Heart

The Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells, died last week at the age of 92.  Her amazing career spanned nearly 50 years, and included being voted the nation's number one "Country Female Artist" by Billboard Magazine for 14 consecutive years, an achievement that no other country female artist has ever topped..

Her honest and unadorned voice and plain spoken lyrics touched my heart. My grandparents had a collection of Wells records that I would play for hours on end, and they somehow imprinted on my young mind. I can still hear the lyrics.

While her song titles may have sounded like trashy dime store novels, there was nothing trashy or pretentious about Kitty Wells. Her songs dealt with the common country music themes of love, heartbreak, rejection, and sadness, but Wells was the real deal. No schmaltz here. 

Her hits included, It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk AngelsI Don't Claim to be an Angel, and I Heard the Jukebox Playing. My favorite Wells song has this refrain, "Your lips are sweet as honey but there's poison in your heart." A line that has come in handy over the years. 

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