Those who grew up listening to country music
and older country music fans is very aware of who Loretta Lynn is. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Loretta Lynn was not only admired in the country music industry she was admired in America. She won numerous surveys as the most admired women at that time along side the most popular President’s wives.
Here is a sampling of the top ten songs by Loretta Lynn.
1. I’m a Honky Tonk Girl
2. Coal Miner’s Daughter
3. The Pill
4. Rated X
5. Wings Upon Your Horns
6. Louisiana Woman and Mississippi Woman
7. I Lie
8. You ain’t woman enough
9. Don’t come home drinkin with lovin on your mind
10. After the fire is Gone
Loretta was born on April 14, 1935. Her family lived in Butcher Hollow which is located in Jackson County, Kentucky, a small mining community.
Loretta began her singing career singing in her local church and in some local concerts.
A few months before Loretta turned 14, she married Oliver Vanetta Lynn, who was known by the nickname Mooney. By the time, Loretta was 17, they had four children. At the age of 29, Loretta was all ready a grandmother.
At the age of 18, her husband bought her a guitar and she taught herself how to play.
Loretta’s first big break came after winning a local talent competition. This peaked Buck Owens attention who invited her on his television show. Her appearance led her to signing a deal with Zero Records.
In 1960, Loretta recorded the song I’M A HONKY TONK GIRL for Zero records. Being a small record company they did not have the money to promote the song. Loretta and her husband did the promoting themselves, sending the record across the country to radio stations. Then they moved the family to Nashville to help promote it. By the time, the family had moved to Nashville the song had made it to number 14 on the billboard chart.
In the 1960’s there were only four other female country music stars: Kitty Wells (who became famous in the 1950’s) along with Patsy Cline, Skeeter Davis and Jean Shepard. Loretta credits Patsy Cline as being her mentor and best friend.
Loretta Lynn has written over 160 songs and earned 8 BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) awards. Her song material has been considered sassy and unique. Many of her songs addressed female issues (especially issues of Southern women). Her songs made her stand out and brought her to attention to fans and critics. Many people who weren’t into the country music scene became fascinated by her.
Loretta Lynn has released over 70 albums in her career. Seventeen of her albums reached the number one billboard slot. Twenty seven of her singles also reached the number one billboard slot.
In 1962, Loretta Lynn became a member of the Grand O’le Opry.
Loretta Lynn was also a cast member of the weekly television show THE WILBURN BROTHERS from the years 1960 to 1974.
Through the years, Loretta Lynn has sung with a number of other singers. But she will be most remembered singing with the late great Conway Twitty. Loretta and Conway teamed together for a number of albums. One of their greatest hits is: LOUISIANA WOMAN AND MISSISSIPPI MAN.
I LIE was Loretta Lynn’s last top 10 country hit. It was released in 1982. Yet, she remained popular on the concert circuit.
Then in the 1990’s she had to cut back on her concerts and public appearances due to poor health.
In 1993, she did team up with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette . The three of them recorded the album HONKY TONK ANGELS.
In 2003, Loretta Lynn won the Kennedy Center Honor and was named the Artist of the Decade for the 1970’s by the Academy of Country Music.
In 2004, she made a comeback and recorded the album VAN LEAR ROSE. This album reached new audiences and new generations.
In 2005, Loretta Lynn won the best Country Album award and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals award.
Yet, her career did not come without causing some stress among radio stations. In the early years, many of her songs such as: Rated X, The Pill, and Wings Upon Your Wings was considered to be controversial and was banned from being played by many radio stations.
Loretta Lynn is also known for her autobiography COAL MINERS DAUGHTER, which became a big screen movie. In it, she describes her life growing up in the coal mining community and what it took to become the star she is today.
Loretta Lynn had a lot of turmoil in her life. One can sense this from her music. But one can also sense what a fighter she is. She is definitely a role model for anyone wanting to be singer out there, especially the female ones.