Kentucky daughter and Icon Loretta Lynn passed away October 4, after many years of health struggles including several bouts of pneumonia, a stroke and broken bones from falls. She was 90 years old and passed away at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Lynn was born Loretta Webb in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky and was actually raised a coal miner’s daughter. When Lynn was 15, she married her husband “Doo” or Oliver Vanetta “Doolittle” Lynn. She moved to Washington state while pregnant with her first child and in 1953, bought her first guitar, a $17 Harmony.
Lynn learned to play on her own, and her husband encouraged her to start a band. Her band, Loretta and the Trailblazers played gigs around Washington and then in 1960, she made her first record, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.”
Her first record was followed by a string of now classic country tunes including “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Fist City,” and of course, the legendary song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” that became the title of the autobiography and then film based on Lynn’s early life including their friendship and loss of fellow country singer, Patsy Cline who died in a plane crash in 1963. In 1977, Lynn recorded a tribute album to Cline called, I Remember Patsy.
Lynn’s career was peppered by controversy with many of her songs dealing with issues like cheating spouses, birth control, war and the disparities between men and women. Some were banned by country music stations that were too conservative for her subject matter. Lynn’s music and life are often viewed as inspiration for many women. She wrote candidly about her experiences as a woman, mother and wife.
Loretta Lynn is the most awarded female country artist with some of her honors including Country Music Awards, Three Grammy awards (18 nominations), ACM Artist of the Decade. Lynn also had 24 hit singles that reached the top of the charts and 11 albums doing the same.
In 1983, Lynn was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of fame in 1988. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Lynn spent a lot of her life between motherhood and career but after suffering a stroke in 2017, she ended her touring career.
Here is a selection of songs from her long, amazing career that including lots of individual success and many great collaborations including with Conway Twitty and an album produced by Jack White.
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