Imagine growing up in a place called Butcher Holler, being married at age 13, having four children by the age of 19, and then deciding to pursue a music career. That’s an unusual background for success, but it gave Loretta Lynn, the coal miner’s daughter, an authenticity and an ambition that being born to money could never have provided.
Lynn looked to Patsy Cline (Great American Things, November 16, 2009) as a mentor, and indeed named one of her children Patsy in the legend’s honor. Ironically, Lynn assumed Cline’s place as the leading lady of country music after Cline’s untimely death. Most of Lynn’s early successes were honky-tonk songs, and she had a string of hits in the 60s. In her career, she’s had 47 songs make the top 20 on the Country chart, with an amazing 11 make it all the way to number 1. She also had a dozen top 10 duets with Conway Twitty, the first five of which were also number one hits.
She’s won so many awards it’s not possible to list them here. Among the highlights: CMA Vocalist of the Year (3x), CMA Entertainer of the Year (1972), Academy of Country Music Awards Top Female Vocalist (4x) and its Entertainer of the Year (1975), the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, CMT’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music (no. 3), and Kennedy Center Honors (2003).
- Recording Academy Honors Country Singer Loretta Lynn (shoppingblog.com)