Euple Byrd was the first husband of Tammy Wynette, one of the most influential and successful country music singers of all time. He died in a car crash in 1996, six years before Wynette passed away from a blood clot in the lungs.
In this article, we will explore the life and death of Euple Byrd, as well as his relationship with Tammy Wynette and her legacy.
Who is Euple Byrd?
Euple Byrd was born in 1937 in Itawamba County, Mississippi. He was five years older than Tammy Wynette, who was born as Virginia Wynette Pugh in 1942 in the same county. They got married in 1960 when Wynette was still 17 and had dropped out of school. It is said that she had been in love with his elder brother, but things didn’t work out and she ended up marrying Euple instead.
Euple worked as a construction worker and the couple lived in poverty in the early years of their marriage. Reportedly, while Wynette was pregnant with their first child, they lived in a shack with no heat or electricity. Euple also had trouble keeping a steady job, which added to their financial struggle. Wynette worked hard to support the family, taking up various jobs such as waitress, shoe factory employee, cocktail waitress, and hairstylist. She also attended beauty school and obtained a license as a beautician, which she renewed every year until her death.
The couple had three daughters: Gwendolyn, Jacquelyn, and Tina. However, their marriage was not happy due to personal differences and conflicts. Wynette suffered a nervous breakdown and had to undergo electroshock treatments while she was pregnant with Tina. She also developed a passion for singing and decided to pursue a career in country music. She left Euple and moved to Birmingham, Alabama with her daughters in 1965. She then moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1966 and signed a recording contract with Epic Records. She changed her name to Tammy Wynette and became a country music star. She and Euple officially divorced in 1965.
Euple Byrd’s Death
After his divorce from Tammy Wynette, Euple Byrd’s life remains unknown. Whether he remarried or had further children is unknown. He died aged 59 on November 30, 1996, per Find a Grave. He likely killed in an automobile collision. His remains are in Hillcrest Masonic Cemetery in Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi.
His death has caused controversy. He may have killed himself by driving into a tree, according to some accounts. Others believe he was killed to keep Tammy Wynette’s revelations a secret. However, these claims lack proof.
Tammy Wynette’s Life After Euple Byrd’s Death
Tammy Wynette had a tumultuous life after her divorce from Euple Byrd. She married four more times: Don Chapel (1967-1968), George Jones (1969-1975), Michael Tomlin (1976), and George Richey (1978-1998). She also had several short-term relationships and affairs with other men. She had one more daughter, Georgette, with George Jones.
Wynette achieved great success as a country music singer, recording many hit songs such as “Stand by Your Man”, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”, “I Don’t Wanna Play House”, and “Til I Can Make It on My Own”. She also collaborated with other artists such as George Jones, David Houston, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Elton John, and KLF. She won many awards and honors for her music, including three Grammy Awards, two Country Music Association Awards, eight Billboard Music Awards, and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Throughout her life, Wynette struggled with health and drug addiction. She had persistent discomfort after gallbladder, kidney, throat, and stomach surgery. She became addicted to painkillers, sleeping medications, and antidepressants. She overdosed and was hospitalized often. She also faced domestic abuse from spouses and lovers.
Wynette died on April 6, 1998, at the age of 55 in her home in Nashville, Tennessee. Her official cause of death was a blood clot in the lungs. However, some of her daughters and fans have questioned the circumstances of her death and have accused her last husband, George Richey, of being involved in her death or covering up the truth. A lawsuit was filed by her daughters against Richey and Wynette’s doctor, but it was later settled out of court.
Legacy of Euple Byrd and Tammy Wynette
Euple Byrd and Tammy Wynette had a brief and troubled marriage, but they also had three daughters who inherited their musical talent. Gwendolyn, Jacquelyn, and Tina have all pursued careers in music as singers and songwriters. They have also performed together as The Daughters of Tammy Wynette. They have honored their parents’ legacy by keeping their music alive and sharing their stories with the public.
Tammy Wynette is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential country music singers of all time. She is known as the “First Lady of Country Music” and the “Queen of Heartbreak”. She has inspired and influenced many other artists, especially female singers, such as Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Beyoncé. She has also been recognized by many institutions and organizations for her contributions to music and culture. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a bronze statue in her hometown of Tremont, Mississippi, a museum in Nashville, Tennessee, and a postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.
Euple Byrd and Tammy Wynette had a tragic and complicated relationship, but they also left behind a rich and lasting legacy that continues to touch the hearts of millions of fans around the world.