Throughout the 1960s, if you listened to country music, one of the biggest voices heard was that of Loretta Lynn. Even before her first appearance on The Grand Ole Opry (in 1962), Lynn’s full-bodied vocals and down-home style proudly represented her Butcher Hollow (Holler), KY roots as no one else could do.
Fashioning a musical career from her dream and a $17 pawnshop guitar, Lynn is today a doyenne of Nashville, the First Lady of Country Music. Over fifty years on the stage, her vocal delivery and song-writing talents have built an oeuvre few artists can boast. Earlier this year, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association.
In fact, it’s accurate to describe Loretta Lynn as a “quadruple hitter” in that The Coal Miner’s Daughter became a hit single (1969) for her, a hit album (1970), a top-selling book and a film (1980) starring actress Sissy Spacek in the title role. In addition, the original motion picture soundtrack (1982) achieved Gold status and has remained popular on CD and via downloads.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Lynn’s bio-pic was the critical praise the film garnered. It received seven Academy Award nominations (winning Best Actress for Spacek) as well as numerous nominations and awards from other movie organizations.
Film critic Roger Ebert offered his review of the picture, January of 1980: “… it’s more intelligent and observant than movie biographies of singing stars used to be … a treasure to watch.” Considering how country music and regional entertainers are often spurned by establishment reviewers, Ebert issued high praise indeed.
Like many fans of country music, I admire Loretta Lynn. Her talent, her drive to create beautiful music that is rooted in the heart and originates from honest experience, her refreshing humanity ‑ this total package commands our respect and regard. Continue reading “Still Woman Enough”