On this day in 1975, Tammy Wynette recorded what she often said was her favorite song she ever had a hand in writing, “‘Til I Can Make It On My Own.”
It became her 15th #1 hit when it peaked at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart the following year in 1976.
And the story of how it came to be is pretty cool, too.
A co-write with pianist George Richey and her producer Billy Sherrill, Tammy and George first came up with the idea for it at a recording session.
Billy brought up how a person coming out of a divorce might gradually become more independent, and seeing as Tammy had just ended her marriage to George Jones, deeply resonated with the idea.
They didn’t finish it that day, but one Saturday night, the pair got back together and Tammy went over to George’s house to finish the song. His wife Sheila made them popcorn and they stayed up late working on it, though they still needed two more lines to get it totally done.
The next day, on Sunday, George asked Billy to come over and help them finish it. He apparently liked to bet on Sunday’s during NFL football games, so George had TV’s going in almost every room in his house, so Billy could run from one room to another watching them.
After the games ended, he finally decided to go help George and Tammy, and knocked out the last two lines almost immediately when he joined in the writing process.
If you’ve been watching the new George & Tammy series, or know anything about what a tumultuous marriage George Jones and Tammy Wynette had, it’s not hard to see why this became her favorite…