This fall will mark a whopping 40 years since Loretta Lynn hit radio waves with “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” but the song is enduring enough that it made news in not just one, but two different ways on Wednesday.
For starters, the book that carried the same name, Coal Miner’s Daughter, will be reissued in September by Vintage Books, which will market the autobiography as a paperback, an e-book and an audio book, narrated by Sissy Spacek. Sissy is, of course, a natural for that job, since she won an Oscar for portraying Loretta in the movie that was built around the book and even got a Grammy nomination for her own recording of “Coal Miner.” The movie, in fact, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
In the meantime, Loretta’s original version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was recognized permanently by the U.S. government yesterday. The Library of Congress announced that the song is being entered into the National Recording Registry, which recognizes important sound recordings from music to historic speeches. “Coal Miner” is one of 25 additions to the Registry alongside Willie Nelson’s album Red Headed Stranger, Little Richard’s rock ‘n’ roll classic “Tutti Frutti,” a narration of The Little Engine That Could and Bill Cosby’s live comedy album I Started Out As A Child.
The Library of Congress established the Registry in 2003 and now has inducted a total of 300 recordings. Among the country releases already enshrined are George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” and Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison.