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FLASHBACK: Nov. 23, 1968

Tammy Stands Tall

At the height of the '60s feminist movement, Tammy Wynette took a big gamble with a song called "Stand By Your Man." Tammy and her co-writer, Billy Sherrill, intended the tune as a testament to unconditional love. But such lines as If you love him, you'll forgive him, even though he's hard to understand enraged some female fans, who felt that it condoned men's wayward ways while portraying women as being weak.

Tammy adamantly stood by her song. "It is not talking about being submissive," she commented at the time. "It is talking about support." Billy, who also produced the record, was a bit more outspoken on the subject.

"Even though to some it may hint of chauvinism," he said, "as far as I'm concerned they can like it or lump it. Because 'Stand By Your Man' is just another way of saying 'I love you' without reservation."

Fans overwhelmingly loved the message. "Stand By Your Man" rocketed to No. 1 on Nov. 23, 1968, barely more than a month after hitting the charts. It also became Tammy's signature song, as well as the title of a stage play based on her life.