25 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-1960s, the direction of country music was changed forever by a coal miner’s daughter from Butcher Holler, Kentucky. Loretta Lynn brought a new, uniquely feminine perspective to Nashville as she poured out her songs of frustration, defiance and resolve, and she did it with grace, smarts and humor, as the tracks here make plain. Decades later, tunes like “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’(With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “One’s on the Way,” and “The Pill” still carry a kick. Back when it counted, Lynn spoke the truth fearlessly and made the country music establishment like it. But feminist manifestos are only part of Lynn’s achievement. Her unvarnished singing delivers romantic laments like “When the Tingle Becomes a Chill” and “Blue Kentucky Girl” with utter believability. Her duets with Conway Twitty — especially the rueful “After the Fire is Gone” — are classic dialogues between the sexes. And beyond all this, there’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” of course, as perfect an expression of down-home pride as anyone has written. Fortunately for us all, Lynn’s iconic songs remain to show new generations of artists the way.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-1960s, the direction of country music was changed forever by a coal miner’s daughter from Butcher Holler, Kentucky. Loretta Lynn brought a new, uniquely feminine perspective to Nashville as she poured out her songs of frustration, defiance and resolve, and she did it with grace, smarts and humor, as the tracks here make plain. Decades later, tunes like “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’(With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “One’s on the Way,” and “The Pill” still carry a kick. Back when it counted, Lynn spoke the truth fearlessly and made the country music establishment like it. But feminist manifestos are only part of Lynn’s achievement. Her unvarnished singing delivers romantic laments like “When the Tingle Becomes a Chill” and “Blue Kentucky Girl” with utter believability. Her duets with Conway Twitty — especially the rueful “After the Fire is Gone” — are classic dialogues between the sexes. And beyond all this, there’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” of course, as perfect an expression of down-home pride as anyone has written. Fortunately for us all, Lynn’s iconic songs remain to show new generations of artists the way.

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About Loretta Lynn

Kentucky legend Loretta Lynn may not have been the first female country star to elbow her way into Nashville’s boys’ club in the early ’60s, but she was the first to make the female experience—and all the social pressures and double standards that come with it—central to her songbook. Lynn’s bold and soulful voice was matched by her eagerness to smuggle countercultural notions about birth control (“The Pill”) and divorce (“Rated ‘X’”) into the Grand Ole Opry, establishing the archetype for the taboo-breaching Music City provocateur that endures through the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Kacey Musgraves, and Miranda Lambert. And those eyebrow-raising lyrics were delivered with outsized swagger: On the 1968 woman-scorned screed “Fist City,” Lynn exuded an attitude that rivaled the sneering garage rockers of the day. So it was no surprise that, long after the 1980 biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter made her a star beyond the heartland, Lynn was embraced by a younger generation as a protopunk icon, with her most effusive fan—Jack White—ushering in her 21st-century renaissance on 2004's Van Lear Rose.

HOMETOWN
Butcher Hollow, KY
GENRE
Country
BORN
April 14, 1932

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