For more than 50 years running America’s most famous coal miner’s daughter has been nearly worshiped by her fans.
Loretta Lynn, who became one of the first female country artists to reach sales exceeding 500,000 with her 1967 song, “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind), will be performing live at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Indoor Peoria Showplace inside Buffalo Run Casino.
Lynn isn’t just a pretty voice. In many ways she’s both a country musical trendsetter and maverick. Her first self-penned song to crack the Top 10, 1966’s “Dear Uncle Sam,” was among the very first recordings to recount the human costs of the Vietnam War.
Beginning with 1966’s No. 2 hit “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” Lynn began writing songs with a feminist viewpoint, which was unheard of in country music at the time. Other, similar songs followed: “Fist City,” “What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am),” “To Make a Man (Feel Like a Man)” and one of her greatest hits, “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).”
In 1973, her song “Rated X” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart, and was considered one of Lynn’s most controversial hits. Two years later, “The Pill” was the first song to discuss birth control.
Despite the mature nature of many of her songs, they failed to drive fans away. The opposite, in fact, occurred. Lynn’s openness and honesty drew fans from around the nation, including some who didn’t consider themselves country music fans.
“My fans can expect anything, and I think they all know that too!” she told Country Stars Central. “My fans will ask me, ‘What are you gonna’ do next?’ Well, hide and watch!”
It was Lynn’s 1970 song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” that elevated Lynn even further into stardom.
The song is still Lynn’s most popular and told of her life from poverty to fame, growing up as she did in rural Butcher Hollow, Ky., and marrying her husband at the age of 13.
The song would launch both a best-selling biography in 1976 and an Oscar-winning movie, starring Sissy Spacek, in 1980.
Since 1993, Lynn stopped releasing singles and has focused on touring. Even today, she remains a top draw.
Altogether, Lynn has released more than 160 songs and 70-plus albums. Her latest album, released back in November and titled “Loretta Lynn: ,” features modern female country singers such as Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood.