Song Stories

“It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”

Kitty Wells | 1952

This was the first major record by a woman to be a hit in the country music world. It was an answer to the Hank Thompson song, "The Wild Side of Life." Written by J.D. Miller, it was the first number one song by a female solo singer to hit the top of the Billboard charts. The song not only helped shape Wells' career, it was one of the tunes that paved the way for women like Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton to step outside the "girl singer" mentality of country music in the 50's to have their own careers. It was a daring move for Wells to record a song that set men straight in the 50's, because the term women's lib had not yet been invented. NBC radio network banned the song for being suggestive and she couldn't sing it on the Grand Ole Opry or NBC's Prince Albert radio show. Nevertheless it stayed number one for six weeks on the Billboard charts. Even Wells was reluctant to record the song the first time she heard it. After the song was such a hit, she said, "I was shocked at the song's success and how it has had staying power in the country music."

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories


The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »