George Richey was a prolific American songwriter, record producer, and musician who worked with some of the biggest names in country music, such as Tammy Wynette, George Jones, and Dolly Parton. He was also the husband of Wynette from 1978 until her death in 1998. But how much was he worth when he died in 2010?
Early Life and Career
George Richey was born as George Baker Richardson on November 30, 1935, in Promise Land, Arkansas. He grew up in nearby Hot Springs and began playing guitar at the age of nine. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, after graduating from high school to pursue a career in music.
Richey’s first major success came in 1965 when he co-wrote the song “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” with Bobby Braddock for Tammy Wynette. The song became a number one hit and earned Richey his first Grammy nomination. He went on to write and produce a number of hits for Wynette, including “Stand By Your Man” and “Til I Can Make It On My Own”. He also wrote and produced hits for George Jones, including “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “The Grand Tour”. He also wrote and produced hits for Dolly Parton, including “9 to 5” and “I Will Always Love You”.
Richey was nominated for several Grammy Awards and won two. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Marriage to Tammy Wynette
George Richey and Tammy Wynette married on July 6, 1978. Richey then became Wynette’s full-time manager and also took control of her finances. Georgette Jones, Wynette’s daughter by former husband, George Jones, has claimed that Richey attempted to keep Wynette away from her children and close friends. She also claims that Richey was abusive to Wynette for the duration of their marriage. Georgette Jones, and another of Wynette’s daughters, Jackie Daly, both claimed that Wynette admitted that her infamous kidnapping incident was staged in order to explain bruises from a beating from Richey.
On April 5, 1998, Wynette felt a burning in her leg. Richey called her doctor, Wallis Marsh, who was 500 miles away in Pittsburgh. Marsh urged Richey to take her to the emergency room, but Richey did not. She died in her sleep the following afternoon. Richey would later claim that Wynette didn’t want to be taken to a hospital, as she had started feeling better.
After Wynette’s Death
In April 1999, Wynette’s daughters Tina, Jackie and Georgette filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Richey and Marsh after local reporter, Jennifer Kraus, discovered that Midazolam had been shipped to Wynette. Midazolam is a powerful sedative that can cause respiratory failure if not administered properly. The lawsuit alleged that Richey and Marsh were negligent in their care of Wynette and that they conspired to cover up the cause of her death. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2002 for an undisclosed amount.
Richey remarried in 2001 to Sheila Slaughter, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. He largely retreated from public life and rarely gave interviews. He died on July 31, 2010, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 74. He was buried next to Wynette at the Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery.
George Richey’s Net Worth
According to various sources, George Richey’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be between $10 million and $13 million. He had made most of his wealth from his successful career as a songwriter and record producer. He also inherited a portion of Wynette’s estate, which was valued at $20 million in 1998. However, he also had to pay a substantial amount to settle the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Wynette’s daughters. He also had to pay alimony and child support to his previous wives and children.
George Richey was one of the most influential figures in country music history. He left behind a legacy of timeless songs that have touched millions of fans around the world. He also had a turbulent and controversial personal life that was marked by scandals and lawsuits. He was a complex and talented man who had a significant impact on the genre he loved.