By 1968, Tammy Wynette had married her first husband and scored two Number One singles – a duet with David Houston called "My Elusive Dreams," followed by her first solo chart-topper, "I Don't Wanna Play House." Throughout the year, the singer with the distinctive tear-soaked catch in her voice would experience several ups and downs, many having to do with marital discord. Forty-nine years ago today, Wynette entered
"I had a song called 'I L-O-V-E-Y-O-U (Do I Have to Spell It Out for You)' and hit kind of a snag," Braddock told Rolling Stone Country in 2015. "I got the idea of a couple that spells in front of their kid so the kid won't hear all this disturbing stuff about his parents getting a divorce. Months went by and nobody recorded it. I asked Curly Putman why nobody was recording the song. He said the melody for the title line was too happy. The melody I had for the song was sort of like a soap commercial."
With Braddock's lyrics and Putman's "lonesome, sad voice" leading the way to a revised melody, their "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" was final, earning Braddock his first Number One as a songwriter and Wynette her third consecutive Number One as a solo act. In 1973, she filmed a live performance of the song in
Two months after "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" hit the top spot, Wynette split from husband Don Chapel and began a relationship with singer George Jones, announcing that they were married on August 22nd, although the union wasn't actually official until six months later. Wynette and Jones divorced in 1975, after which she was wed – and divorced – three times, marrying husband number five, George Richey, in 1978. Wynette passed away in her sleep on
For his part in Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," Braddock muses, "Looking back on it now, I think the song's pretty corny. But I was glad to have it."