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By the late 1940s they were appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. He performed with her throughout her career and their long marriage.

“What I’ve done has been satisfying,” she said in the 1986 AP interview. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Miss Shepard said she was devastated by her friend’s passing. She visited with Miss Wells a handful of times since Wright’s death and was supposed to visit last week along with her friend Jan Howard. But she couldn’t make it because of medical appointments.

“And I’m just so sorry we didn’t get to go see her,” Miss Shepard said. “She was just a precious person always.”

Associated Press writer Joe Edwards contributed to this report.