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Kitty Wells was 'queen of country music'

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Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.             

"Kitty Wells was a 33-year-old wife and mother when her immortal recording of 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels' suddenly made her a star," according to the Hall of Fame's biography.            

"Other female country singers of her day were trying their hands at hard-living, honky-tonk songs, but it was the intense and piercing style of Kitty Wells, with her gospel-touched vocals and tearful restraint that resonated with country audiences of the time and broke the industry barriers for women," it said.             

Wells was born in Nashville to a musical family. She first began performing on the radio with her two sisters and a cousin, the quartet going by the name of the Deason Sisters.             

She married Wright in 1937 and joined by her husband and his sister, Louise, to perform as Johnnie Wright and the Harmony Girls. Two years later, Wright began performing with Jack Anglin as the duo Johnnie & Jack.             

While she performed with them as a girl singer in the 1940s, her husband began calling her "Kitty Wells," a name taken from a 19th century folk song.             

'SWEET, GENTLE LADY'            

Harold Bradley, 86, the venerable Nashville session guitarist whose brother, Owen Bradley, produced many of Wells' recordings, said there was no better person to work with than Wells.             

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