‘Fresh Air’ remembers country superstar Loretta Lynn
Lynn, who died Oct. 4, grew up in poverty in eastern Kentucky and went on to have 16 No. 1 hits. Her life story was portrayed in the 1980 film Coal Miner’s Daughter. Originally broadcast in 2010.
DAVE DAVIES, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Loretta Lynn, one of America’s most beloved and influential country music stars, died yesterday at her home in Tennessee. She was 90. Lynn was famous for her singing, her songwriting and her life story, told in the 1980 film “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” The film was adapted from Lynn’s memoir, which described how she grew up in poverty in eastern Kentucky, became a wife at age 15 and, after having four children, started writing songs and performing. She made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 1960. Lynn became the first woman to be named entertainer of the year by the Country Music Association in 1972, and in 1988, she was inducted into the Country Hall of Fame. Sixteen of her songs reached No. 1 on the country charts. In her New York Times obituary, Bill Friskics-Warren wrote, quote, “Ms. Lynn built her stardom not only on her music but also on her image as a symbol of rural pride and determination. Her music was rooted in the verities of honky tonk country and the Appalachian songs she had grown up singing.”
Terry interviewed Loretta Lynn in 2010. A tribute CD had been released, which featured her songs recorded by The White Stripes, Steve Earle, Miranda Lambert and others. They started with Loretta’s first recording, “Honky Tonk Girl,” followed by the version on the tribute album performed by Lee Ann Womack.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “I’M A HONKY TONK GIRL”)
LORETTA LYNN: (Singing) Ever since you left me, I’ve done nothing but wrong. Many nights, I’ve laid awake and cried. We once were happy. My heart was in a whirl. But now I’m a honky tonk girl. So turn…