So, the wife and I saw George & Tammy on Showtime, and very much enjoyed it. Neither of us are especially fans of country music, but we did also watch and really loved Nashville (the TV series) a few years ago. So much so, that we went to a concert with some of the Nashville stars at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden. (I guess we’re secret country & western fans.)
Now, speaking for myself, I of course did know Tammy Wynette’s blockbuster hit, “Stand By Your Man”. But I’d never heard of most of other songs performed in George & Tammy, and the real joy of the limited six-episode series for me was the discovery of great country songs that were new to me. Like “Two Story House,” released by Tammy and George in 1980, with a catchy melody and a brilliant lyric (song written by Tammy, with David Lindsey and Glenn Douglas Tubb).
The story of George and Tammy — portrayed memorably well in the song — is actually very familiar, in reality and on the screen. A famous male singer gets together with a talented newcomer female singer who is a big fan of his, and she soon eclipses the guy in fame and commercial success. The personal lives similarly have those ups and downs, as they marry and break up (usually because the guy is an alcoholic) but they still love each other, to the very end.
But the performances of Jessica Chastain as Tammy and Michael Shannon as George were so incandescent and perfect — including their singing — that they made that old story very much vivid and alive. And the particular ending of both the series and the true story of George and Tammy was presented so well in the final episode that whatever else you might think of the rest of the series, you’ll think it was worth watching.
So bravo to everyone who made this series, and here’s a video of the real Tammy and George singing “Two Story House”.
And here’s about the closest I ever came to singing a country song ….