Jimmy Lane: Country weddings a longstanding tradition

Jimmy Lane

At the recent Country Music Television Music Video Awards, Miranda Lambert and her boyfriend, Blake Shelton, were asked by reporters if they had any plans on marriage. Although the cozy country couple is not yet ready to tie the knot, marriages between two country singers are surely not a new trend.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood were the most recent superstars to get hitched, and they followed the same formula as Johnny Cash and June Carter. Cash and Carter were married to other people when they fell in love with each other. The same is true with Brooks and Yearwood. In each case, the couples were touring together when they started having feelings for each other.

Another case where a concert tour led to eventual marriage is with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The two became acquainted during their “Spontaneous Combustion” tour and married in 1996.

Many marriages among country stars don’t work out. The George Jones and Tammy Wynette relationship was a rocky one and lasted only six years. Lorrie Morgan has married two country stars, and both have ended tragically. Her first was to Keith Whitley, who died of alcohol poisoning. She married Sammy Kershaw (her fifth husband) in 2001 and has filed for divorce from him, citing irreconcilable differences. Vince Gill divorced his wife, Janice Oliver (lead singer for the Sweethearts of the Rodeo), and has since married contemporary Christian star Amy Grant. Rosanne Cash married singer songwriter Rodney Crowell in 1979. The two stayed married for 13 years but ended amicably. Crowell even introduced Cash to her next husband, record producer John Leventhal. 

Some marriages can lead to recording opportunities for country spouses. Lisa Hartman has been known to sing on a couple of Clint Black’s hits, and Aaron Tippon’s wife, Thea, had a duet with the song “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow”

Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings were married in 1969, and both had many hit records in the 1970s. Love started at the Grand Ole Opry and led to a May/December marriage for Marty Stuart (a country hit maker in the 1990s) and Connie Smith (who had many country hits in the 1960s).

Surprisingly, only one of the above country couples has spawned an offspring who has had country hits. Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter’s son, Shooter Jennings, has had a couple of hit records. 

Country tidbits: Look for Carrie Underwood to be featured on a Vitamin Water commercial with rapper 50 Cent. ... Rascal Flatts is this year’s recipient of the Academy of Country Music’s Humanitarian Award, which will be presented during next month’s Academy of Country Music Awards. ... Tim McGraw is about to add “author” to his list of accomplishments when his children’s book written with Tom Douglas, “My Little Girl,” will be published in October. The book will include a foreword by Tim’s wife, Faith Hill.

Jimmy Lane is a disc jockey and program director at WCTY (97.7 FM) in Norwich, Conn. E-mail him at

Norwich Bulletin