KITTY WELLS // THE QUEEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC

THE STORY OF KITTY WELLS ISN’T WHAT FAIRYTALES ARE MADE OF.  HER JOURNEY IN THE MUSIC AND BUSINESS WORLD WAS NOT SOME SHOO-IN FACTORY OF ONE HIT WONDERS FOR ONE HIT ARTISTS ON A PATH THAT HAD BEEN PAVED FOR HER.  KITTY WAS BRAZEN BRILLIANCE. SHE HERSELF WASN’T EVEN A HONKEYTONK ANGEL BUT IN THE 1950S SHE SAW NO PROBLEM IN CALLING LOVE LIKE IT WAS WHEN SHE RECORDED THE SONG “HONKEYTONK ANGELS”.  SEE, “HONKEYTONK ANGELS” WAS A RESPONSE SONG TO “THE WILD SIDE OF LIFE” RECORDED BY AN ARTIST NAMED HANK THOMPSON.  THE SONG STATED THAT HANK “DIDN’T KNOW THAT GOD MADE HONKEYTONK ANGELS” AND TALKED DOWN ON A WOMAN FOR BEING A RAMBLER FREQUENTING THE HONKEYTONKS.

You wouldn't read my letter if I wrote you

You asked me not to call you on the phone

But there's something I'm wanting to tell you

So I wrote it in the words of this song

 

I didn't know God made honky tonk angels

I might have known you'd never make a wife

You gave up the only one that ever loved you

And went back to the wild side of life

 

The glamor of the gay night life has lured you

To the places where the wine and liquor flows

Where you wait to be anybody's baby

And forget the truest love you'll ever know

 

I didn't know God made honky tonk angels

I might have known you'd never make a wife

You gave up the only one that ever loved you

And went back to the wild side of life

 

  THE RESPONSE SONG RECORDED BY KITTY WELLS “HONEYTONK ANGELS” ADDRESSES THE CALL OUT BY STATING

 

As I sit here tonight the jukebox playin'

The tune about the wild side of life

As I listen to the words you are sayin'

It brings memories when I was a trusting wife

 

It wasn't God who made Honky Tonk angels

As you said in the words of your song

Too many times married men think they're still single

That has caused many a good girl to go wrong

 

It's a shame that all the blame is on us women

It's not true that only you men feel the same

From the start most every heart that's ever broken

Was because there always was a man to blame

 

It wasn't God who made Honky Tonk angels

As you said in the words of your song

Too many times married men think they're still single

That has caused many a good girl to go wrong

 

 

THERE WERE NO WOMEN IN ANY POSITIONS OF POWER IN NASHVILLE OR REALLY IN BUSINESS AT ALL AND NO FEMALE ARTISTS HAD GAINED NOTORIETY.  SO WHEN DECCA RECORDS RELEASED “HONKEYTONK ANGELS” THE SONG WAS BANNED FROM THE OPRY AND NBC RADIO (WHICH WERE THE ONLY OUTLETS FOR COUNTRY MUSIC AT THE TIME) SIMPLY BECAUSE THE CONTENT AND LYRIC WAS SOMETHING THAT THEY APPARENTLY DID NOT APPROVE OF. 

HOWEVER, THE PUBLIC COULD NOT GET ENOUGH OF THE SONG EVENTUALLY THE BAN WAS LIFTED AND THE “IT WASN’T GOD WHO MADE HONKEY TONK ANGELS” BECAME THE FIRST #1 ON THE BILLBOARD CHARTS FOR A SOLO FEMALE COUNTRY ARTIST.  KITTY NOT ONLY MADE HER MARK WITH THE FIRST NUMBER ONE, SHE WAS THE REIGNING QUEEN OF THE COUNTRY CHARTS FOR 14 YEAR.  KITTY WANTED TO START A RECORD LABEL, SO SHE OPENED ONE WITH HER HUSBAND THAT SHE WAS MARRIED TO FOR 72 YEAR, JOHNNY WRIGHT.  SHE WANTED TO OWN A MERCHANDISING COMPANY, SO STARTED ONE.  SHE TOURED AND PERFORMED ON STAGES UNTIL SHE WAS 80 YEARS OLD YET MANAGED TO LOVINGLY RAISE HER 3 CHILDREN AND CREATE A NUTURING HOME ENVIROMENT .  KITTY  WAS A BRILLIANT MARKETING MIND IN A DAY WHEN MARKETING IDEAS WERE LEFT UP TO THE MEN.  SHE SAW NO RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT SHE COULD DO REGARDLESS OF WHAT SOCIETY STANDARDS WERE.  SHE FOLLOWED THE PATH IN HER HEART.

SHE BRAZENLY LED THE WAY IN NOT ONLY BY PIONEERING TO GIVE WOMEN A VOICE IN COUNTRY MUSIC BUT ALSO IN MARKETING, BUSINESS, TRUE LOVE, AND LIFE.

 

—THERE ARE COUNTLESS WOMEN THAT HAVE UNAPOLOGETICALLY LIVED LIFE IN A WAY THAT IS OUTSIDE OF WHAT PEOPLE WOULD CALL THE SOCIAL NORM.  WOMEN THAT HAVE FOLLOWED THEIR HEARTS IN ASPECTS OF ART, BUSINESS, AND COUNTLESS OTHER AREAS.  KITTY IS A CELEBRATION OF ALL OF THOSE WOMEN. 

AT KITTY, WE WANT TO SHARE THE STORIES OF THE AMAZING WOMEN THAT HAVE GONE BEFORE US AND WE ALSO WANT TO SHARE THE STORIES OF THE WOMEN THAT ARE OUT THERE LIVING THE “KITTY” LIFE TODAY.  WOMEN THAT YOU KNOW THAT ARE WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD BY LIVING AUTHENTICALLY FROM THEIR HEARTS.  WE GLADLY WELCOME YOUR INSPIRED STORIES OF KITTYS PAST AND PRESENT AND LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THESE STORIES WITH OUR COMMUNITY OF BADASS, BRAZEN RENAISSANCE WOMEN.

Kitty of the Month - July 2015 - Sarah Tomek

SARAH TOMEK // MOVING TO THE BEAT OF HER OWN DRUM

KITTY of the Month is a chance to reflect on the renaissance women that have blazed the trails before us and changed art, society, or business for the better.  Its purpose is also to honor the renaissance women of today that are leading lives that are authentically inspired by their talents and passions in their hearts, to share their stories and how fashion plays a roll in their everyday lives.

Born and raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Sarah Tomek was inspired at an early age by her father and is now one of the country’s most phenomenal drummers. In a male dominated music scene, she possesses her own unique style. Tomek moves to the beat of her own drum, exuding poise and grace as a glamour god on and off the stage. She is undoubtedly a modern day sex symbol, but it's her inner beauty and her story that make her our KITTY of the month.


What does Nashville style mean to you and how do you incorporate it with the variety of projects your involved in?

Where it may have been different years ago, Nash has become so much more than just a country music city. It's all encompassing. Because of that I easily transition through genres whether it be Rock, Americana, or Country. I can wear a fur vest with a southern inspired fringe button up and leather booties. Keeping it rock n roll with a lil country flare.  I also remember first coming back home to NJ and my friends were so into the fact I was wearing booties with anything whether it be high waisted shorts, dresses, or a jean. Definitely southern inspired and I see the trend everywhere now. 


What brought you to Nashville? Do you transition any styles from back home with the nashville styles? If yes, how? Give Examples.

Nashville artist, Maggie Rose, moved me to Nashville over 3 years ago to be her drummer.  When I first moved, I was into more the rocker chic vibe. Seeing what a "good ole boys " club Nashville could be, it inspired me to femme up my look and my instrument some. I tried to blend the two. I'll still wear my leather motorcycle jacket, but I'm gonna do it in some pumps, soft makeup and a western hat. 


Whats your staple piece ad why?

I have three pairs of high waisted black pants. One a jean, one leatherette cigarette and a super skinny leatherette pair. I can't wear a dress when I play with a snare drum between my legs, so these go with most anything. After the set I can switch a shirt for meet and greets or if the bands going out for some fun on the town.

What is your definition of a strong woman and why? who have your influences been throughout your journey thus far?

A strong woman is one who goes her own way never compromising who she is. My mother is my superhero. She's such a strong woman who always followed her path and encouraged me to be an individual and do the same. ("don't take sh*t Sent from my iPhone

Whats your favorite thing about KITTY?

I love that store is named after Kitty Wells, a female pioneer in country music.The store walls are a celebration of that legacy and all women that came after her. I love that it's a botique where each week there's new pieces coming in and the little lounge area in the middle of the store is totally welcoming for anybody including men. Speaking of men, there's a cutie that works there that I have my eye on as well <3

 

 

 



Twitter : @sarahtomek

Instagram:  @stomekulous

photo by www.rebeccaadlerphoto.com 

KITTY OF THE MONTH :: ERICA NESS

Erica Ness, a straight shooting, boss lady, is an owner of one of East Nashville’s most popular bars, The Crying Wolf.   Erica hails from LA where she attended fashion design school and when she's not slinging drinks for thirsty patrons (@rarphoto) and managing a busy bar, she owns and operates Elektric Alice jewelry and candle design.  Check out her killer jewelry and custom crystal candle designs at @elektric_alice on instagram. 

We love Erica because, well, she’s beautiful inside and out, but also because the girl has some serious practical street style.  Between working behind a bar and building intricate jewelry and candles made of crystals, metals and pyrite, she needs clothes that she doesn’t have to worry about spilling on so she typically wears all black. "My clothes are drunk by the time I leave work." Erica jokes.  She stopped by KITTY for a visit and shared some of her favorite current looks! Click on links below to check out her picks.