Tammy Wynette Museum Backers Fighting for State Funding
Local officials in northeast Mississippi are trying to obtain money from the state to help fund the construction of a museum devoted to the life and career of country singer Tammy Wynette.
Wynette was one of the leading female country artists of her generation. She enjoyed a long string of hits including the iconic 'Stand by Your Man,' and she was married to country legend George Jones for six years. The couple recorded a number of duets, including 'Golden Ring.' She passed away in 1998.
The singer was a native of Tremont in Itawamba County, and local politicians are hopeful that the Tammy Wynette Museum will be good for the local economy. According to the Associated Press, money to fund the museum was included in the Mississippi House version of a recent multi-million-dollar bond bill, but didn't make it into the final bill signed by Gov. Phil Bryant.
"We are beginning to learn that tourism is where a lot of our economy is," says Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville). "We are blessed by many of the performers and artists that we have. We need to showcase them every chance we get. Tammy Wynette is the queen of country music, and she is from Itawamba County. This fight is not over."
Tremont Mayor Glyn Robinson says the land for the project, located squarely along US Highway 178, has already been acquired and that raising the funds is the next step. He argues that there is a built-in demographic of locals who would patronize the museum, as well as a broad base of visitors who would make a special trip specifically to visit a museum honoring the icon. There are also existing bus tours that visit the Muscle Shoals, Ala. area and Memphis recording and music sites, with a stop off in Tupelo for the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum.
That, Robinson points out, could only benefit the Tammy Wynette Museum. "We're right on the music trail," he says.