From Butcher Holler, Kentucky, to the Country Music Hall of Fame, she’s had an incredible decades-long career paving the way for countless other female artists coming behind her.
She penned classic hits like, “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)”, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”, and pushed the boundaries of her time with tracks like “The Pill”, “One’s on the Way”, and “Rated ‘X”, most of which were banned from country radio at the time.
She married her longtime husband, Doolittle “Mooney” Lynn, when she was just 15 years old, and he pushed her to start singing in front of people, and was one of the biggest reasons she became so successful. Their marriage wasn’t easy, though, and it was pretty well-known that they had a tumultuous ride, mainly due to his alcohol problem and constant cheating.
And of course, because of her grit, tenacity, and willingness to be completely honest about everything about her life through her songs, she has inspired so many other artists to do the same.
Her impact on not only the genre of country music, but music in general, cannot be overstated. She’s a once in a generation talent, and it’s amazing to see her still doin’ her thing at 90 years old. That’s pretty damn impressive, to put it mildly.
And this year for her birthday, she got some special birthday wishes from a few familiar faces, like Garth and Trisha, Dolly Parton, Carly Pearce, Tim and Faith, Ashley McBryde and more:
And here’s one of my favorite videos of her singing her signature song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, in Nashville back in 1971:
5 Of Loretta Lynn’s Most Controversial Songs
If there’s one thing Loretta Lynn is known for, it’s not pulling punches.
Throughout her career she had multiple songs banned from the radio (14 of them to be exact) for being to controversial for the traditionally conservative genre, but the banning had an adverse affect to what they planned.
They didn’t go away, they became anthems for her and the women who felt as if she was speaking for them.
In an interview with Parade, Loretta said it’s all about the telling the truth:
“I just write what I feel, what is going on with me and my life. It just happened that a lot of other women felt the same.
I would never set out to write something just for it to shock someone; I am not that clever. It’s always been about truth and if that means radio wants to ban it, well that’s their problem.
Most of my records they banned became No. 1 anyway.”
Here’s five of her most controversial songs
This is easily the one that caused the most backlash, even leading to a preacher denouncing the album during a sermon, which more than likely just enticed attendees to go buy it. The song is a wife telling her husband there’d be no more never ending pregnancies, a strong theme throughout her catalogue, cause she’s got the pill.
The song was banned by at least 60 radio stations throughout the country, yet the ban had little to no effect on the single’s sales, which peaked at about 15,000 units a week and went to #5 on the country charts.
“Rated X” is her take on how unfair divorce was back in her day, with men getting off pretty much scot-free and women being looked at with shame, yet simultaneously being marked as a target for men. It was the sixth #1 of her career.
Wings Upon Your Horns
Losing virginity is always a touchy subject, especially when religious themes are used to express the idea but, like we’ve come to love, it didn’t stop Loretta from speaking her mind.
Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Loving On Your Mind)
Loretta brought her own life into many of her songs, including this one.
It’s pretty obvious how her 50 year marriage to an alcoholic and a cheater brought this song about and feeds many of the other themes we’ve been hearing…
While not diving into subjects as touchy as the others, Loretta’s warning to women who flirt with her man while she’s touring was done so directly and forcefully it made people do a double take.
This is probably my favorite Loretta song. The phrase “Fist City” for an ass-whooping is just so great. We need to start using it more often…