“Girls… did you tell him his hair’s a mess."
- Tammy Waynette to George Jones
This past Sunday, Jessica Chastain (Class of 1998) and Michael Shannon debuted their interpretation of the country-music power couple Tammy Wynette and George Jones in Showtime’s George & Tammy. The show opens with title cards that read, “in the late ‘60s George Jones was the undisputed King of Country Music… but he was slipping. Then he met a former hairdresser just starting to climb the charts.” The history that follows will be detailed throughout the six-part mini-series.
George Jones was indeed the King of Country Music at the time; many still consider him to be, mostly due to his distinct way of vocalizing through his teeth. He went on to have a record 145 top forty hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with such hits as “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “White Lightin’,” and “The Race is On.” Jones became almost as popular for his drunken shenanigans and standing-up audiences as he did for his music. Tammy Wynette would come to be known as the “First Lady of Country” and is still in the top twenty country singers to have number-one songs on the Billboard Hot Country chart. Some of those include “Stand by Your Man,” “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” and “My Elusive Dreams.” Together they became a country music power couple, often being referred to as “Mr. & Mrs. Country Music,” with the success of songs like “We’re Gonna Hold on, “Let’s Build A World Together,” and “Golden Ring.” The Showtime mini-series promises to show the highs and lows of it all as well as how much is too high to pay for the price of fame and love.
Jessica Chastain is coming hot off the heels of winning an Oscar for her performance as another Tammy, Tammy Faye Baker, in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. She can also be seen this year in Netflix’s The Good Nurse opposite Eddie Redmayne and in James Gray’s coming-of-age tale Armageddon Time starring Anne Hathaway (Specialized training 1993).
George & Tammy can be seen on Showtime, where new episodes will be released Sundays. Watch the trailer here.