Monday, January 24th, 2011
Some people are just born with it. With the gift for writing songs. Songs come to them, and they just need to write them down. It doesn’t take any agony or even much thought, it just takes time with a guitar alone to capture them as they fly by. That’s the case with Loretta Lynn. Right out of the gate, she wrote songs richer and deeper than the finest songs emerging out of Nashville. And she sang them with robust bravado, this little girl “dressed up like Annie Oakley,” and ascended swiftly to Nashville royalty as one of country music’s greatest singers and songwriters.
Born in 1932 in Kentucky, she married her beloved Doolittle (Oliver Vanetta Lynn) when she was only 13, and had four of her six kids before she was an adult. He gave her a guitar for her 24th birthday, and she started playing and singing as if she’d done it her whole life. Her first two songs, “Whispering Sea” and “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl” were also the twin sides of her first single. And when people heard that voice with those songs, songs that reflected country life as it was really lived, they fell in love.
After those two, the songs kept coming. When the Nashville crowd first heard her music, they were stunned. Roy Acuff said he couldn’t fathom how she could write such astounding songs – “every one a little movie” – after never writing before. Gradually she created a bounty of work, a deep well of country music splendor from which singers have drawn for years. A new tribute album, Coal Miner’s Daughter, A Tribute to Loretta Lynn, has just been released, featuring Steve Earle, The White Stripes, Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock, Lucinda Williams and others, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of her debut. (more…)
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
By Rick Moore – American Songwriter
For half a century Loretta Lynn has been one of the queens of country music, and when she started writing her own material a few years after she was signed, she (and Dolly Parton) broke the doors down for women who wanted to write what they sang. Her days as a radio staple have long come and gone, but at least AM stations still play her. Her mostly self-penned 2004 Van Lear Rose album, produced by the eclectic Jack White, won the Grammy for “Country Album of the Year,” even though Nashville basically ignored the release completely. But she’s not the first legend Nashville has dissed, and she won’t be the last.
There’s no dissing on the new tribute CD Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn, though, as artists who were influenced by her, hang out with her, and just plain think she’s a great person, have assembled to pay homage to a true living legend. (more…)