Wynette to be featured on new postal stamp

Tammy Wynette* The country music icon’s hometown of Tremont will play host to the upcoming unveiling event.

Tremont will play host to the unveiling of a new postage stamp bearing the likeness of country music legend Tammy Wynette.

Though there is currently no set date for the unveiling event, the Tremont native’s name is included on the U.S. Postal Service’s list of planned stamp subjects for 2014. Wynette will be featured as part of the postal service’s ongoing “Music Icon” series. Other subjects featured in the series this year include Jim Morrison, Sam Cooke, “Fats” Waller and John Lennon.

Last month, Mississippi Senator Hob Bryan announced that Wynette’s hometown of Tremont would host the unveiling.

The unveiling of a new stamp is a big event that typically draws dignitaries, public officials and post office personnel from Washington, D.C., the state and region. Fans of Tammy Wynette, country music in general and stamp collecting are also expected to attend.

In order to plan for the event, the public is invited to a meeting set for Monday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at Tremont High School Library in the main Tremont High School building. The crux of the meeting will focus on what to expect during the unveiling, and how it might benefit the town. Meeting organizers are also hoping to create a community committee that will help with future Wynette events.

“This needs to be a community project,” said Holly Ford, who is spearheading the meeting. “We want all Tremont residents, former Tremont residents and enthusiasts of Tammy Wynette to get involved in the planning of the event.”

If all goes according to plan, Ford believes the unveiling event should be a big draw for the small town.

“A Tremont native will finally get the recognition that she deserves nationally, regionally and locally,” Ford, who recently helped organize a Wynette memorial event in Nashville, said. “The [planned memorial] park and the stamp will ensure that her memory stays alive forever.”

Popularly known as the “First Lady of Country Music,” Wynette remains a country music icon with more than 20 No. 1 songs to her name, including “Stand By Your Man” and “D-I-V-O-R-C-E-,” and is widely considered to have helped shape women’s place in country music.

Before she was world-renowned, however, she was Virginia Pugh of Tremont, an all-star basketball player and child of a farming family. Many members of her family still live in the Tremont area.

Wynette died of a blood clot in 1998 at the age of 55.

In 2012, preliminary work began on a Tammy Wynette Memorial Park and Museum off of Highway 178 in Tremont. Progress on that project, most of which is being managed by volunteers, has slowed over time.

Judge Sharion Aycock, who is also helping organize the planning event, said she hopes the stamp unveiling will help bring attention back to that project and the town of Tremont as a whole.

“As a Tremont native, it makes me especially proud that Tammy Wynette will be honored for her national impact on country music,” Aycock said. “I am excited that Tremont and Itawamba County will be recognized for its rich heritage. The park will bring thousands of visitors to our county. Once here, visitors will see other attractions such as the waterway. None of us can fully appreciate the significance of the U.S. Postal Services issuing a stamp in the memory of one of our natives. But, none could be more fitting than for Tammy Wynette— the first lady of country music.”

adam.armour@journalinc.com, gaynell.jackson@journalinc.com

About Adam Armour

Adam Armour has been writing and taking photographs for "The Itawamba County Times" since 2005. His words and pictures have earned 18 Mississippi Press Association Awards, including several "Best of" category recognitions. He has written and independently published one novel and is currently working on a second.

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  • Scotty Kennedy

    That’s great! What an honor for Tammy Wynette and Tremont, MS. Hopefully The Red Bay Museum in Red Bay, AL, with the largest display on Tammy Wynette anywhere at this time, will be a stop for fans also. It’s about a 20 minute drive from Tremont and we look forward to helping with this tribute.

  • Mamas Angels

    Tammy deserves it! However I’m sure if she had anything to say about it, she’d say she doesn’t. What a great tribute for such an amazing woman that blazed the way for so many other women!