30 Quotes from Women in Country Music in 1993 That Could Easily Be Said Today and Have Definitely Been Said Lately


In 1993 CBS aired the “Women of Country” 2-hour special which featured the likes of Lynn Anderson, Suzy Bogguss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, June Carter Cash, Linda Davis, Crystal Gayle, Emmylou Harris, Wanda Jackson, Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd, Alison Krauss, Brenda Lee, Patty Loveless, Barbara Mandrell, Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Jeannie C. Riley, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith, Pam Tillis, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, Trisha Yearwood and a host of other others.

Today, it would be pretty tough to round up more than a dozen or so recognizable women, currently making music for a TV special. Because, you know, “people don’t like listening to women on the radio.”

The show started with Loretta Lynn saying, “how could anybody ever say it’s a man world?”

What was most shocking about Lynn opening the TV special with that quote is that she believed it. While these ladies, in 1993, seemed fairly convinced that they had made great strides for themselves and those that would come after them, you could take almost everyone of these quotes and give it a woman in country music today. (But, to be clear, they had made great strides. How else do you get a TV special?)

Seriously, take out a few of these ladies and throw in Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Cam and Carrie Underwood and bam!

30 Quotes from Women in Country Music in 1993 That Could Easily Be Said Today and Have Definitely Been Said Lately:

  1. “You’re hard to work with, if you know what you want.” — Ronna Reeves
  2. “If you’re aggressive and take of care of business you’re strong and respected if you’re a man. If you’re a woman, they call you something else.” — Trisha Yearwood
  3. “They have to give more and work harder to get the same paycheck and it’s still smaller. Heaven help the working girl in a world run by men.” — Norma Jean
  4. “To be a woman in country music, is to be torn between dreams. Family and career are always going to compete with each other.” — Pam Tillis
  5. “It’s important to do a good job bringing up my child. She deserves that. And I feel like I can do both.” — Linda Davis
  6. “We were told that songwriting is a closed operation. The boys won’t let you in. I thought, ‘baloney!'” — Felice Bryant
  7. “Women weren’t supposed to know anything about the business. Women weren’t supposed to have that many artistic ideas.” — Kathy Mattea
  8. “There were probably a lot of great women’s songs floating around out there, but they didn’t have the connections to get anywhere.” — K.T. Oslin
  9. “We were told women didn’t sell. And I couldn’t believe…what are they talking about?” — Felice Bryant
  10. “She isn’t going to take nothing off of nobody, which I think we all admire.” — Lorrie Morgan, about Patsy Cline
  11. “Country music seems to be the last place that you can hear the lyrics and understand them.” — (pink/red jacket)
  12. “In the 1960s three women came along that changed everybody’s idea about what a country music singer is about– Tammy, Dolly and Loretta. They don’t need last names.” — Pam Tillis
  13. “You have to be first, great or different to make it in this business.” — Loretta Lynn
  14. “There’s not a better singer nor writer anywhere than Dolly.” — Tammy Wynette
  15. “Dolly is a genius… she’s a very bright, smart business woman.” — Tanya Tucker
  16. “I remember thinking ‘when I grow up, that’s what I want to be.'” — Lorrie Morgan on Tammy Wynette
  17. “Women were still, in 1975, to be seen and not heard.” — Stella Parton
  18. “i’ve seen a real revolution in women’s roles in country music and I think it’s because of the women writers.” — Donna Fargo
  19. “I was in a mini-skirt because I was told to be.” — Jeannie C. Riley
  20. “Wouldn’t it sound silly if you said, ‘well, here’s a good lookin’ little guy in a pretty suit with rhinestones on it.'” — Jeannie Seelyy
  21. “Unless we make a fuss sometimes, nobody is going to listen.” — Lacy J. Dalton
  22. “It’s not all truck-driving, beer drinking and cheating. It’s issues that really matter in the world today.” — Michelle Wright
  23. “She was honest. That’s what you have to be in country music. You can’t fool the audience.” — Louise Mandrell
  24. “That has always made me the happiest, when I feel like I have written something that someone genuinely connects with. Not just some chant, like, ‘hey, baby!’ We’ve heard that before.” — K.T. Oslin
  25. “There’s something that happens when women get into a room together. We bypass a lot of the B.S.” — Wynonna Judd
  26. “You just got to be really determined to make things happen for yourself.” — Lisa Stewart
  27. “The only thing I have to fall back on is my music…I can’t do without my music.” — Rose Maddox
  28. “We’ve always had a lot of integrity in our music and that’s what listeners respond to.” — Deborah Allen
  29. “They might like rap, but they might want to get their heartstrings pulled…that’s what we’re here for.” — Carlene Carter
  30. “It’s not just as simplistic as my guy left me and now I’m in a bar. It’s more interesting and compelling.” — Mary Chapin Carpenter

Currently, the entire special is available on YouTube, but the grand finale should be required watching for any person who has ever said that they support women in country music. Every single woman featured during the special came out on stage together to sing Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Hard Way.”

Show a little passion, baby, show a little style
And show the knack for knowing when and the gift for knowing how
And have a little trust in us when fear obscures the path
You know we got this far, darling, not by luck, but by never turning back
Some will call on destiny, but I just call on faith
That the world won’t stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, to what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way