Kitty Wells, the “Queen of Country Music”, was born Ellen Muriel Deason, in Nashville, Tennessee on August 30, 1919. She created the role for all other female country singers. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” recorded in 1952, was her first number one song and she was the first female to sell a million records and reach number one in the country field. For 14 consecutive years she was voted the nation’s number one “Country Female Artist” by all of the trade publications such as: Billboard, Cashbox , Record World and Downbeat Magazine. No other Country female artist has ever topped her achievements.
In 1935, Kitty joined her sisters Mae and Jewel along with her cousin Bessie Choate, forming the group known as the Deason sisters. They appeared on an early morning radio station in Nashville, WSIX in 1936.
She learned to play the guitar at around age 14 and learned to love country music from her father, Charles Cary Deason, a brakeman for the Tennessee Central Railroad, who used to play the banjo and guitar. Kitty who is also a fantastic cook, learned this skill from her mom, Myrtle.
1937, Kitty married Johnny Wright , who is also a legend in Country Music. He was part of the famous duo Johnny and Jack. Jack Anglin, Johnny’s duet partner was married to Johnny’s sister, Louise. They began a career in country entertainment that has spanned over 60 years. Kitty and Johnny have three children, Ruby, Bobby and Sue.
Kitty was given the name Kitty Wells, by her husband Johnny Wright in 1943. Johnny got the name from the old folk ballad recorded by the Pickard Family, entitled “Sweet Kitty Wells”. Johnny and Kitty made appearances in the early years on radio stations in Raleigh, North Carolina (WPTF), Knoxville, Tennessee (KNOX), Bluefield, West Virginia (WCHS, Decatur, Georgia (WEAS) and at the Louisana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana (KWKH). Kitty’s first recording session was for RCA Records in 1947 when she recorded some gospel songs, such as “Gathering Flowers for the Master’s Bouquet” and “How Far Is Heaven”. Kitty re-recorded “How Far Is Heaven” two more times on Decca Records, once with daughter then age 9, Carol Sue.