On this date in 1970, the late, great Loretta Lynnwas at #1 on the country chart with her signature tune, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” It also became her first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 all-genre chart.
The song was a solo write by Loretta, and was by far the most significant of her career, leading to her aforementioned 4th career #1, 2nd Gold album certification, and a famous biographical musical film of her life that won an Academy Award and two Golden Globes.
Of course, the song perfectly describes her life growing up dirt poor in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, with a father who grew corn and worked in the Van Lear coal mines:
“My daddy worked all night in the Van Lear coal mines All day long in the field a hoin’ corn Mommy rocked the babies at night And read the Bible by the coal oil light And ever’ thing would start all over come break of morn'”
She mentions in the chorus, though, how proud she was of her parents and her upbringing in the hills and hollers of east Kentucky, which was extremely evident throughout her entire life and career.
There’s just something so inherently humble and homey about the lyrics that so many people can relate to, and the overarching message about being proud of what you have, whether it’s a little or a lot, is absolutely timeless, which is why it continues to resonate with people all over the world decades later.
And there are countless great performances of Loretta singing this country classic, but one of my favorite’s is from an appearance she did on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 30th, 1971, not too long after the song was released.