Today is country great Loretta Lynn’s 82nd birthday. The “coal miner’s daughter” was born on April 14 in Butcher Hollow, a poor mining community near Paintsville, Kentucky in 1932. Her distinctive voice and groundbreaking songwriting have made her an American icon.
Throughout her career—now in its sixth decade—Loretta Lynn has been known to sing and write about blue-collar women’s issues—childbirth, cheating husbands, “the other woman,” alcoholism, birth control pills and being a Vietnam war widow. It’s interesting to note that “The First Lady of Country Music” was once considered quite controversial with nine of her numbers being blacklisted by commercial country radio. Even her first #1 hit, 1967’s “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ on Your Mind)”—a song about a woman pissed off about her drunk man wanting to get jiggy with it (obviously!) was considered too edgy by country radio of the day (and incredibly spawned a pro-drunk husband song the following year sung by Loretta’s own brother, Jay Lee Webb titled, “I Come Home A’Drinkin’ (To a Worn Out Wife Like You).”
Today Loretta Lynn’s music—and hardscrabble life story—is a part of the fabric of the American experience and she’s been honored with the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and, of course there was the Academy Award-winning film about her life, Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Sissy Spacek. Her 2004 album Van Lear Rose was produced by Jack White and it topped the country charts. Lynn and White were nominated for five Grammy awards, winning two. Last year Lynn told Rolling Stone that she wants to record another album with White and has nineteen albums for release already in the can.
Loretta Lynn has sold an estimated 48 million albums.
“You’re Lookin’ At Country”
“One’s on the Way”
More after the jump…