2010 Rewind: No. 10 — Loretta Lynn’s 50th Leads Legends

It was quite a year for the Coal Miner’s Daughter — 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of Loretta Lynn’s emergence as a national star, and she was honored in a slew of ways, including parties, awards and a tribute album by some of today’s top artists. Loretta was joined by several other legends as 2010 honorees, including Merle Haggard, Jimmy Dean and now Dolly Parton. The recognition paid to the genre’s pioneering acts represents the No. 10 entry in our countdown of country music’s dozen top stories of the year. Loretta’s first single, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl,” came out in 1960, and it seemed like every few months during 2010, the music business found some way to pay homage to her impact. Early in the year, she was accorded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, though she was unable to attend the Los Angeles ceremony. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was added to the National Recording Registry, she was saluted with an anniversary party at her Tennessee home, she was celebrated with a Reba McEntire-hosted Recording Academy Salute at the Ryman Auditorium, and a bunch of her classics were remade in the album Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute To Loretta Lynn. That latter project brought Loretta the opportunity to sing the title track with Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow on the Country Music Association Awards. The album also features Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, the White Stripes, Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood, among others. Loretta hand-picked all of the contributors — appropriate, because she’s not one of those veteran stars who dislikes newer versions of country music. Read More

Loretta Lynn’s Short, Sweet Tribute

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. Read More

Loretta Lynn’s Short, Sweet Tribute

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. Read More

Loretta Lynn Honored for 50 Years of Music

Five decades ago, Loretta Lynn and her husband-manager, “Mooney” Lynn, drove station to station around the U.S. promoting her first single, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.” All these years later, she’s a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a global symbol for country music, and she was honored Friday at her Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum in Tennessee for 50 years as an American icon. A bevy musicians and music-industry executives were on hand for the occasion, including Marty Stuart, Crystal Gayle, Jack Greene and Terri Clark. Ronnie McDowell presented Loretta a painting he had created, depicting her when she was 10 years old and living in Kentucky. A string of presenters included John Carter Cash, arranger Bill Walker and Ray Walker, of the Jordanaires, the Hall of Fame vocal quartet that backed Loretta on such classics as “You’re Lookin’ At Country,” “Blue Kentucky Girl,” “Don’t Come A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” There were also video tributes from Wynonna, Big Kenny, Keith Anderson, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler and Dolly Parton. The ceremony took place in a sweat-filled tent outside the museum, which houses an extraordinary volume of memorabilia, including letters from presidents, stage wear and a string of awards. None of which have led Loretta to think of herself as anything other than the little girl who grew up in poverty in an eastern Kentucky shack. Read More