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Loretta Lynn’s Short, Sweet Tribute
Posted By Tom Roland On October 12, 2010 @ 11:51 PM In Country Music News | Comments Disabled
In the 1960s and early ‘70s, when Loretta Lynn  was at her commercial peak, country hits were notably short musical affairs.
“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” ran a quaint two minutes and nine seconds. “Fist City” came in at 2:13. “You’re Lookin’ At Country” was a scant 2:20.
So it was apropos that when the Recording Academy honored the Coal Miner’s Daughter Tuesday, it took just 45 minutes — short and sweet and pretty neat. Host Reba McEntire  started the night off with a zippy western-swing version of “If You’re Not Gone Too Long,” bolstered by the Time Jumpers ’ triple-fiddle section, pass-around solos and a walking stand-up bass.
From there, a parade of stars trotted out their takes on a mix of classic songs and overlooked material. Kid Rock  turned “I Know How” into a gritty piece of country-soul, Martina McBride  delivered a forceful interpretation of the gorgeous ballad “Love Is The Foundation,” and Lee Ann Womack  added a biting tone to Loretta’s first hit, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.”
That song was released 50 years ago, starting off a career that’s one of the most important in country music history. She was the first woman to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award, an undisputed addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame and “a strong, independent female voice,” as Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow noted.
The Academy presented her its Merit Award and also honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award she was unable to pick up at a previous ceremony this year.
“Nobody tells it like it is like Loretta Lynn,” offered rocker Jack White, who produced her Grammy-winning album Van Lear Rose. “I think she’s the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. You can’t talk me out of it.”
The event was held at the Ryman Auditorium, the same stage where Loretta made her Grand Ole Opry debut 50 years ago. Friday is the exact anniversary of that night.
On Nov. 9, she’ll be recognized again with an entire album of covers, Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute To Loretta Lynn. Loretta, Miranda Lambert  and Sheryl Crow  offer up a new version of the title track on the CD, which also includes appearances by Alan Jackson , Allison Moorer , Carrie Underwood  and Faith Hill .
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Gretchen Wilson  and Kid Rock joined voices to honor Loretta’s intentionally squirrelly Conway Twitty  duet “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly,” and Loretta took part in the evening’s final song, “After The Fire Is Gone,” in which Garth Brooks  took Conway’s part. Loretta was firm and passionate, and Garth stayed off mic during the harmony parts on the chorus, appropriately allowing Loretta to dominate the sound on her big night.
“I really didn’t know that this night’s for me, but I sure am proud,” Loretta said. “I don’t know what to say except thank you.”
Short and sweet and pretty much perfect.
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_loretta_lynn
 Reba McEntire: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_reba_mcentire
 Time Jumpers: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_artists_a-z/article/0,,GAC_26071_5837043,00.html
 Kid Rock: http://www.gactv.com/gac/nw_headlines/article/0,,GAC_26063_5937973,00.html
 Martina McBride: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_martina_mcbride
 Lee Ann Womack: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_lee_ann_womack
 Miranda Lambert: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_miranda_lambert
 Sheryl Crow: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_artists_a-z/article/0,,GAC_26071_6029230,00.html
 Alan Jackson: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_alan_jackson
 Allison Moorer: http://www.gactv.com/gac/nw_headlines/article/0,,GAC_26063_4852488,00.html
 Carrie Underwood: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_carrie_underwood
 Faith Hill: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_faith_hill
 Gretchen Wilson: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_gretchen_wilson
 Conway Twitty: http://www.gactv.com/gac/nw_headlines/article/0,,GAC_26063_5938588,00.html
 Garth Brooks: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_garth_brooks
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