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‘There Wasn’t None Of Us’: Jean Shepard, Country Music Trailblazer, Dies At 82

“As we know, there wasn’t nothing of us. But … we hung in there like a hair on a grilled cheese,” Jean Shepard pronounced when she was inducted to a Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

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“As we know, there wasn’t nothing of us. But … we hung in there like a hair on a grilled cheese,” Jean Shepard pronounced when she was inducted to a Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Jean Shepard, one of a initial women to find success in nation strain as a solo act, died Sunday during age 82. Shepard was a feisty, straight-shooting thespian who combined a career in an attention where she had few womanlike purpose models.

When Shepard was initial pushing from city to city personification honky-tonk bars, there were usually a integrate of other women in nation strain — Kitty Wells and Minnie Pearl among them — who were putting out strain by themselves. More often, a women of nation were behaving with their husbands or referred to as “girl singers” with bands. In that context, Shepard stood out and even sounded defiant.

Shepard pronounced that when she started out, she struggled to get a record understanding since of her gender. But she’d infrequently fun about a discrimination. “I don’t like to hear women contend we can do anything a male can do,” she quipped in a 1983 talk on The Nashville Network. “My father can lift 200 pounds of equine feed, and we can’t do that.”

In further to assisting pave a approach for nation stars like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, Shepard had her possess tip 10 hits — many of them about adore from a woman’s indicate of view. In her strain “Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar),” she sings about a male who looks during his guitar with a adore he never shows her: “This adore event of yours has left too far/ And I’m sleepy of personification second fiddle to an aged guitar.”

Shepard was invited to join a Grand Ole Opry in 1955, and she achieved there until final year. But she didn’t get voted into a Country Music Hall of Fame until 2011, and many saw a respect as overdue. At a endowment ceremony, she spoke about a start of her career as a lady in nation music. “As we know, there wasn’t nothing of us,” she said. “But we was happy to do my part. we hung in there like a hair on a grilled cheese.”