Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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LYNN, Loretta

(b Loretta Webb, 14 April '35, Butcher Hollow KY) One of the most successful female singers in country music, an unmistakable voice with echoes of earlier trad. singers, also a songwriter incl. autobiographical 'Coal Miner's Daughter'. Married Oliver V. Lynn ('Mooney') before her 14th birthday; they moved to Washington state and had four children before she was out of her teens (a grandmother at 32, six children altogether; eldest son died in farm accident '85). Urged and supported by Mooney she took up singing, formed band the Trailblazers, worked local clubs; made '60 top 20 country hit 'Honky Tonk Girl' for Zero label, handling promotion herself. Moved to Nashville, became a regular on the Wilburn Bros syndicated weekly TV show; turned down by Capitol and Columbia, signed with Decca: 22 hits in country top ten '62--71 incl. 'Before I'm Over You', 'Blue Kentucky Girl', 'You Ain't Woman Enough', 'Don't Come Home A'Drinkin'', 'Your Squaw Is On The Warpath', 'Coal Miner's Daughter' and 'You're Looking At Country'; carried on with 'Rated X', 'Love Is The Foundation', 'Trouble In Paradise', 'The Pill' (controversial '75 hit which some radio stations refused to play), 'She's Got You' and 'Why Can't He Be You' '77. Also teamed with Ernest Tubb for albums and single hits incl. 'Mr And Mrs Used To Be' '64, 'Who's Gonna Take The Garbage Out' '69. She split from the Wilburns late '60s; they sued her for breach of contract; when that was settled she formed United Talent booking agency with Conway Twitty, also recording duets; named vocal duo of the year four times by the CMA: LP United Talent and hits such as 'Lead Me On', 'Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man', 'As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone' '71--4. She was the first woman to be CMA's Entertainer of the Year '72; named Artist of the Decade '79 by the ACM; own chain of Western wear shops, music publishing company, travelling rodeo show; first woman in country music to become a millionaire, first to be on cover of Newsweek ('73); became TV celebrity with frank talk on chat shows. Autobiography Coalminer's Daughter '76 was nine weeks on NY Times best-seller list, filmed '80 with Sissy Spacek in title role (won Oscar). I Remember Patsy '77 was tribute LP to Patsy Cline, who helped her in the early days; largely absent from the charts after mid-'80s she was still active, often appeared at Branson, Grand Ole Opry etc; teamed with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette for successful Honky Tonk Angels '93 on Columbia. Mooney's death Aug. '96 after a long illness took its toll. Other LPs (all on Decca/MCA) incl. Songs From My Heart '64, First City '66, Who Says God Is Dead '67, Wings Upon Your Horns '69, Writes 'em And Sings 'em '70, I Wanna Be Free '71, Here I Am Again '72, Back To The Country '76, Out Of My Head And Into My Bed '78, Loretta '80, Lookin' Good '80, Makin' Love From Memory '82, Lyin', Cheatin', Woman Chasin', Honky Tonkin', Whiskey Drinkin' You '83.