Loretta Lynn, whose songs about heartbreak and poverty are among the most praised in the history of country music, has passed away at the age of 90. Her family confirmed her death on 4 October. She died at home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Loretta was a real-life example of a rags-to-riches tale. she was from the coal-mining hills of Kentucky. She married Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn when she was young, and the couple raised their six children while touring the nation to promote her music. She eventually rose to the position of one of the most prominent voices in the field and remained so for the duration of her life. Her final album, “Still Woman Enough”, was released in 2021. Here are some fascinating details regarding her life:
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1. Loretta Lynn’s Mother Named Her After Loretta Young.
Loretta Lynn was born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, on April 14, 1932. She was the oldest daughter and second child of Melvin Theodore “Ted” Webb (June 6, 1906 – February 22, 1959) and Clara Marie “Clary” Webb (May 5, 1912 – November 24, 1981). She was given the name Loretta Young in honor of the actress. Her mother was a huge admirer of the American actress, who was well-known for her leading performances in “The Farmer’s Daughter” (1947) and “Come to the Stable” (1949).
2. Peggy Sue And Crystal Gayle, Sisters Of Loretta Lynn, Are Also Country Musicians.
Peggy Sue Wright, a singer and songwriter who mastered her craft in the late 1960s, was born on March 25, 1943, and is best known for her work in country music. Her albums are “Dynamite!” (1969), “All-American Husband” (1970), “One Side” (1974), “I Just Came in Here” (1977), and “Gently Hold Me” (1981). She is the middle sister of Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn, two well-known country singers.
Crystal Gayle (or Brenda Gail Webb), who was born on January 9, 1951, was an American country music singer best known for her 1977 hit song “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” At first, Gayle shared management and a record business with her older sister, Loretta Lynn. After using the arrangement unsuccessfully for a while, Gayle made the decision to pursue a different strategy with Lynn’s support.
3. As Loretta Lynn’s Family Was So Poor, Her Mother Had To Use Sears Catalog Pages As Wallpaper.
According to Loretta Lynn, her parents had eight children, so 10 of them had to share a small cabin in the mountains. “The winters were cold, so my mommy glued newspapers and pages from old Sears Roebuck catalogs to the wall to help keep the cold out. We didn’t have money for wallpaper, but my mommy made that old house stay warm and beautiful,” she said.
4. Loretta Lynn Only Knew Her Husband For A Month Before Their Marriage.
Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn and Loretta Webb were famously wed when she was between the ages of 13 and 16 and he was 21. After giving birth to the first of their six children a year later, Loretta had three more children before turning 20. They remained a couple up until Doolittle’s passing in 1996.
5. Loretta Lynn Received Her First Guitar From Her Husband.
Early marital years would serve as inspiration for Lynn’s songwriting. Doolittle gave her a Harmony guitar in 1953 for $17 (which would be $172 today).
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6. Loretta Lynn Wrote Her First Song While On A Fishing Trip.
The Lynn family was then residing in Washington state. “One day we went fishing. I don’t know why I just sat down and wrote a song. But I remember being shocked that those lyrics just came pouring’ out of me,” Loretta shared in her 2012 memoir, Honky Tonk Girl. “I wrote my very first lyric when I wrote ‘Whispering Sea.'”
7. Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek were good friends.
Sissy played duets with Loretta and praised her friend in an American Masters documentary about the singer. Sissy received an Oscar for playing Loretta in the 1980 movie Coal Miner’s Daughter. Sissy would occasionally show up on Loretta’s Instagram feed.
8. Loretta Lynn Did Write Songs Backwards.
At least in Jack White‘s opinion, who worked on her 2004 album Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn surely had a unique style of writing. “She sort of writes with a double chorus, there isn’t one chorus, per se, when you listen to her songs. There are two choruses, she starts with the second one and then comes back to the first part of the chorus and then goes back and starts writing the verses and the story to get to it.”
9. Lynn’s Tennessee Ranch Has Its Own Zip Code And Post Office.
Hurricane Mills, Loretta’s ranch, has six museums (including one devoted to dolls), an RV campground, and a concert hall. Since 1982, the land has served as the site of the yearly AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.
10. Loretta Lynn Was A Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipient.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was given to Loretta in 2013 in recognition of her career of “courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men” by President Barack Obama.
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