But her It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels gave the woman’s point of view about the wild side of life.
The song was written by J.D. Miller as a retort to Hank Thompson’s 1952 hit, The Wild Side of Life.
The chorus to Thompson’s record was: ‘I didn’t know God made honky-tonk angels/ I might have known you’d never make a wife/ ‘But you gave up the only one that ever loved you/ And went back to the wild side of life.’
In his response, Miller wrote: ‘It wasn’t God who made honky-tonk angels/ As you said in the words of your song/ Too many times married men think they’re still single/ That has caused many a good girl to go wrong/ It’s a shame that all blame is on us women’
The song opened the way for women to present their view of life and love in country music. It also encouraged Nashville songwriters to begin writing from a woman’s perspective.
The song was controversial enough that the Grand Ole Opry asked Wells not to perform it, and some radio stations were reluctant to play it.
‘They get away with a lot more today,’ Wells told the AP in 1986. ‘They’re more (sexually) suggestive today.’
In 2008, the Library of Congress announced that Wells’ record had been added to its National Recording Registry of works of unusual historic merit.