Johnnie Wright, Country Star & Husband of Kitty Wells, Passes Away at 97

Long-time country singer Johnnie Wright, who scored number 1 hits in 1954 with (Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely and in1965 with Hello Vietnam and was married to country queen Kitty Wells for 73 years, passed away on Tuesday morning at the couple's home in Madison, TN. He was 97.

Wright broke into country music when he formed Johnnie Wright & the Harmony Girls with his sister Louise and his new wife, Kitty Wells (then going by her birth name of Muriel Deason). During this time, Johnnie became friends with Jack Anglin, who would eventually marry Louise and, in 1939, they formed Johnnie Wright and the Happy Roving Cowboys with Jack Anglin, changing the name a year later to Johnnie and Jack.

Anglin served overseas during World War II but, once he returned, the duo made music a full-time pursuit, scoring their first hit in 1951 with Poison Love. Over the next eleven years, Johnnie and Jack would have fifteen top 20 country hits including the number 1 (Oh Baby Mine) I Get So Lonely.

In March of 1963, Anglin was driving to a memorial service for Patsy Cline when he was killed rounding a turn at a high speed. Wright, without his musical partner of 24 years, decided to strike out on his own returning to the country charts in 1964 with Walkin', Talkin', Cryin', Barely Beatin' Broken Heart. A year later, he made it to the top with one of Tom T. Hall's earliest songs, Hello Vietnam, a record that would see the light of day again in the 80's over the opening of the movie Full Metal Jacket.

In 1968, Wright placed his last record on the Country charts and began touring regularly with Wells. In 1983, they opened the Family Country Junction Museum and Studio in Madison which they ran until 2000. It was at the end of that year that they also performed their last show.

The couple had three children, Ruby, Carol Sue and Bobby. Each achieved their own success on the charts, Carol Sue with her mother in 1956 with How Far is Heaven (#11), Ruby in 1964 with Darn Ya (#13) and Bobby in 1971 with Here I Go Again (#13).

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