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Famous Like Me > Singer > L > Loretta Lynn

Profile of Loretta Lynn on Famous Like Me

Name: Loretta Lynn  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 14th April 1935
Place of Birth: Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Loretta Lynn on the cover of her album Who Was That Stranger

Loretta Lynn (born April 14, 1935) is an American country singer, known as "America's Sweetheart."

She was born Loretta Webb in Butcher Hollow, a small community in Johnson County, Kentucky, and was married at age 14 to Oliver Vanetta Lynn (commonly known as "Doolittle", "Doo", or "Mooney"), with whom she had four children by the time she was 17. She has released 70 albums and had 17 number 1 albums and 27 number 1 singles. Her first single was "Honky Tonk Girl" which reached number 14 on the Billboard singles chart. She made several albums with Conway Twitty. Her younger sister, Crystal Gayle, is a well-known country singer in her own right. Lynn wrote Gayle's debut single, I've Cried (the Blue Right Out of My Eyes). Gayle and Lynn are cousins of country music singer Patty Loveless.

Her first recordings were featured on the Canadian label Zero Records, but her real success came as a result of a collaboration with the Wilburn Brothers (Teddy and Doyle) who were responsible for her release from the Zero Records label, her subsequent signing with Decca Records and her initial appearances on the 'Grand Ole Opry'. Loretta signed both lifetime (20 year) songwriting contracts and performance contracts with the Wilburn Brothers publishing company (Sure-Fire Music) and talent agency (Wil-Helm) respectively. With the benefit of membership in the Grand Ole Opry and inclusion in the weekly nationally syndicated television program The Wilburn Brothers Show (1960-1974), and with the assistance of the songwriting skills of Teddy Wilburn (who is rumored to have co-written many of her pieces, including "You Ain't Woman Enough" and "Don't Come Home A Drinkin"), Loretta soon became the number one female recording artist in country music.

Poet Shel Silverstein wrote Lynn's hit song One's on the Way.

Loretta Lynn has also written two autobiographies, Coal Miner's Daughter and Still Woman Enough. The first was also made into a film starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta. By the time the movie was in production, Lynn had a falling-out with the Wilburn Brothers, centered around the breach of her performance contract with Wil-Helm, resulting in their omission from the script entirely (as opposed to the book).

Lynn was close friends with country music legend Patsy Cline, and was devastated by her death. Possibly as a strike back in her feud with the Wilburn Brothers, Loretta substituted Patsy Cline as her musical mentor in the film version of "Coal Miner's Daughter" for that of the Wilburns.

There was some speculation that Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakely), the centerpiece character in the 1975 Robert Altman classic Nashville, was based at least in part on Lynn. When asked about the film (which ends in Barbara Jean being gunned down), Lynn reportedly joked that Nashville should be happy, because they'd been trying to kill her for years.

After her separation with the Wilburn Brothers, in the early 1970s, Loretta's career leveled off. Without Teddy Wilburn's adept musical tutelage, her string of hit recordings came to an end.

In the early 1980's Lynn experienced further personal and professional loss. Her music began to fall into a funk and she lost a son in a freak accident. In addition Lynn's mother lost her battle with cancer.

In 1993 Lynn teamed up with fellow country legends Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette for the album Honky Tonk Angels. That same year, she lost her duet partner Conway Twitty, and in 1996 Loretta's husband Mooney lost his long battle with diabetes.

Lynn was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was named "Artist of the Decade" for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music.

In 2004, she made a comeback with the highly successful album Van Lear Rose, produced by and featuring the guitar playing of Jack White, reaching new audiences and new generations and even garnering airplay on rock radio.

At the end of 2004 it was announced that Loretta was nominated for five Grammy Awards including, Best Country Song ("Miss Being Mrs." and "Portland Oregon"), Best Country Album (Van Lear Rose), Best Country Collaboration with Vocals ("Portland Oregon" with Jack White), and Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("Miss Being Mrs.")

At the 2005 Grammys Loretta won for Best Country Album and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.


In her heyday, Lynn was no stranger to controversy. She had more banned songs than any other artist in the history of country music, including Rated X (about the double standards divorced women face), Wings Upon Your Horns (about the loss of teenage virginity), and most famous, The Pill (about a wife and mother becoming liberated via birth control).

In 1988 she campaigned for Presidential nominee George Herbert Walker Bush and made fun of Michael Dukakis' last name.


For a complete listing of the albums and singles see Loretta's Home page.

Further reading

  • In The Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music, Nicholas Dawidoff, Vintage Books, 1998. ISBN 0-375-70082-X
  • Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock, Peter Dogget, Penguin Books, 2001. ISBN 0-140-26108-7
  • Dreaming Out Loud: Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Wade Hayes and the changing face of Nashville, Bruce Feiler, Avon Books, 1998. ISBN 0-380-97578-5

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Loretta Lynn