The daughters of Tammy Wynette have won a lengthy battle to have their mother’s stage name rightfully replaced on her grave.
Back in 2012, Wynette’s step-daughter, Deirdre Richardson Hale, who owns the crypt where Tammy Wynette is buried at Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum in Nashville, changed the name to Virginia Wynette Richardson.
This was done ahead of a challenge she planned of her step-mother’s intellectual property. Her biological daughters originally thought that the name would be changed to Wynette’s birth name Virginia Wynette Pugh.
Instead of that name, she was given the last name of her fifth husband, George Richardson, who passed away in 2010. Her daughters, who had only wanted the name change to be temporary, launched a campaign to have her stage name returned to her grave.
Jackie Daly, one of Wynette’s daughters, told Nashville’s Tennessean: “We were just going to go ahead and start raising the money to move her, but we didn’t have to do that,”
Another daughter, Georgette Jones Lennon added: “She worked very hard and long her whole life for that name. That’s who she believed she was. That is who she was.”
The initial name change idea only came around when her children, and the children of her husband, George Richey (Richardson), were considering the challenge to the sale of their parents’ intellectual property.
This took place a few months before Richey’s death in 2010 and involved a music publishing company. Richey, who was a songwriter and record producer, was born with the last name Richardson and had inherited some rights to Tammy Wynette’s music and trademarks following her death in 1998.
Wynette’s four biological daughters agreed to the name change idea based on advice from their stepsister, an attorney of law, after she told them the name change was “legally necessary.”