The stories behind the songs of some of country music’s legendary female performers
Iconic Women of Country opens up the music vaults to provide an intimate look at legendary female artists, their stories and songs, and why they’ve stood the test of time. A love letter to the women of Nashville, the program pays tribute to 14 icons of country music — Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee and more — with heartfelt stories from ten contemporary artists, including Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd and Kathy Mattea. Iconic Women of Country is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations on June 1st, and is co-produced by Transform Films and TH Entertainment, LLC. Check local listings.
We got to know these legendary women through their songs — and then fell in love with them. They told stories and sang songs that spoke to their audiences — women whose lives weren’t always easy, but who could relate to the joys, heartaches, struggles and triumphs reflected in the music. Rarely headliners, these “girl singers,” as the industry often referred to them, were usually the only female performers on the bill. Iconic Women of Country puts the spotlight on their stories.
Current female country music stars reflect on each legend’s iconic song — one that comes to mind when someone says “Patsy” or “Tammy” or “Loretta.” Viewers hear stories behind the song, how it reflected the artist, why it had such an immediate impact, and why it’s lasted through the decades. Using the songs as an entry point, Iconic Women of Country provides a unique look at the hallmark artist along with the context and influences that made the song so popular and timely. What drove these legends to write or perform each memorable song? How did the songs reflect their own lives? What inspired them? The program unearths stories and provides new insight through the reflections of those who have followed in the footsteps of legends and continue to sing these songs.
“It has been such an honor to be able to pay tribute to these women,” says Barb Hall, Producer and Vice President of TH Entertainment. “Their music gave a voice to women’s life experiences, and as much as I love their music, their stories are such a source of inspiration.”
“Transform is proud to partner with Barb Hall and TH Entertainment to bring the stories of these women to light,” says Nick Stuart, President and CEO of Transform Films. “Her expertise and passion have resulted in a special that will appeal to music fans of all kinds.”
Original interviews, archival footage and classic recordings bring the story to life, while the fan artists — storytellers themselves — bring warmth, heart and appreciation in a personal way. Performers featured include Pam Tillis, Suzy Bogguss, Connie Smith, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd, Terri Clark, Lorrie Morgan, Kathy Mattea, Irlene Mandrell and Kellie Pickler.
During the airing of Iconic Women of Country , Universal Music Group Nashville will offer an iconic bundle which includes a DVD of the film with extra exclusive features, a CD and a Hatch Show Print, available for purchase.
“There couldn’t be a more important time to spotlight The Iconic Women of Country Music than now,” shares Universal Music Group Nashville President, Cindy Mabe. “Their influence and stories of overcoming continue to impact, support and build the next generation of Country music. Our rich musical history is magnified by these incredible women’s stories and music that changed culture. Country music wouldn’t be relevant without them.”
The Iconic Women of Country includes the following performances:
- Kitty Wells – “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”
- Connie Smith – “Once A Day”
- Jeannie C. Riley – “Harper Valley PTA
- Barbara Mandrell – “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed”
- Patsy Montana – “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart”
- Dolly Parton – “Love Is Like A Butterfly”
- Tammy Wynette – “Stand By Your Man”
- Brenda Lee – “Big Four Poster Bed”
- Loretta Lynn – “You Ain’t Woman Enough”
- Jean Shepard – “Second Fiddle”
- Patsy Cline – “Walkin’ After Midnight”
- Dottie West – “Country Sunshine”
- Lynn Anderson – “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden”
- Minnie Pearl – Special Subject / Comedy Routine
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.