Loretta Lynn, who began life in a coal miner’s shack in Kentucky but would become country music royalty, died Tuesday at age 90.
Lynn began writing songs as a teenage bride and parlayed her talent into a career that spanned nearly 70 years.
She was known for her honest lyrics that often told the story of a woman scorned.
One of Lynn’s most controversial songs, “The Pill,” spoke to a woman’s newfound freedom after the birth control pill became readily available. The song was banned from playing on many radio stations.
Later, Lynn would tell a reporter, it was one of 14 of her songs that were banned from playing on the radio at some time or another.
Lynn’s debut single was “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” (1960) released on Zero Records. Her first No. 1 hit, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” was released in 1966.
The song warned a husband not to expect to find his wife waiting with open arms if he came home smelling of liquor.
In 1971, Lynn sang of the daydreams of a pregnant Kansas housewife in “One’s on the way.”
“They say to have her hair done, Liz flies all the way to France, and Jackie’s seen in a discotheque doin’ a brand new dance.”
For the housewife in the song, though, life was far from the ones lived by Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis.
“But here in Topeka the rain is a fallin’; The faucet is a drippin’ and the kids are a bawlin’; One of them a toddlin’ and one is a crawlin’ and one’s on the way.”
People outside of country music got a glimpse into Lynn’s life with her husband Oliver (Doolittle) Lynn when the 1980 movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was released.
The movie, which starred Sissy Spacek as Lynn and Tommy Lee Jones as her husband, chronicled her hard upbringing, marriage at 14, four children before she was 21 and her rise to stardom.
During her career, Lynn collaborated with the likes of bluegrass legend Ernest Tubb, famously with Conway Twitty and in later years with Jack White of the White Stripes, and John Carter Cash, son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
Her 50th and last studio album was released in 2021. It was called “Still Woman Enough.”
“I am just so thankful to have some of my friends join me on my new album. We girl singers gotta stick together,” Lynn said in a statement last year. “It’s amazing how much has happened in the fifty years since ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ first came out and I’m extremely grateful to be given a part to play in the history of American music.”
Here is a list of some of the songs written by Lynn:
· Coal Miner’s Daughter (1970)
· Country Christmas (1966)
· Dear Uncle Sam (1966)
· Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) (1966)
· Everything It Takes (2016)
· Fist City (1968)
· Hey Loretta (1973)
· I’m a Honky Tonk Girl (1960)
· Lay Me Down (2016)
· Let Me Go, You’re Hurtin’ Me (1969)
· Little Red Shoes (2004)
· One’s On The Way (1971)
· Rated “X” (1973)
· The Home You’re Tearing Down (1965)
· The Pill (1975)
· Van Lear Rose (2004)
· What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am) (1967)
· Whispering Sea (1960)
· Who Says God Is Dead! (1968)
· You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man) (1966)
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