The Tammy Wynette Connection

One of my favorite county music female singers would have to be Tammy Wynette.  I remember as a little girl listening to her on the radio and I would sit there singing along.  In 6th grade, the teacher had us to write a letter to someone we’ve always wanted to meet.  I, of course, wrote mine to Tammy Wynette.  Little did I know, our teacher would send off a few of our letters.  It was a few weeks later, I got an envelope in the mail with a personal letter and hand signed photo from Tammy herself.  Needless to say, I was an ecstatic 11 year old.  I’ve kept that photo with me over these years and now it sits above my desk in a simple frame matted.  Tammy has been with me musically speaking over the years.  I was sad when she passed away several years ago.  I never got to see Tammy in concert, nor did I get to meet her in person.  However, that letter and photo made me feel like I had somewhat of a connection to her.

These days in the world of digital technology, musicians are trying to get to the heart of the fans, more in a much more massive way.  With all the social networking of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. one message can be sent to reach thousands for free whereas sending out a letter via snail mail wouldn’t reach as many and would be slower.  However, I actually have a box of memories of music – fan club newsletters, photos, the little extras in fanclub kits.  Let’s see, at one point or another, I was in John Michael Montgomery, Clay Walker, Billy Ray Cyrus, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner and the list goes on and on of Fan Clubs.  I remember spending $20-25 of hard earn money for the newsletters, membership card, perhaps a signed photo, folder, bio, and little extras.  These days, artists are “all digital” and the only benefit of a fan club is easier access to meet & greets, better concert seats, and the occasional message board.

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