By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com)
All of us here are very sad to report that the queen of country music, Loretta Lynn, died this morning at 90. Her family said she passed away peacefully in her sleep at home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Over her long career as a singer and songwriter, Loretta released 50 studio albums, ranging from her debut “Loretta Lynn Sings” in 1963 to the double Grammy-winning “Van Leer Rose” with Jack White of the White Stripes in 2005 to her final release, “Still Woman Enough,” in 2021. She released 10 studio albums and 13 singles with her frequent duet partner, Conway Twitty (my favorite title among their songs is "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.")
Over her six-decade career, Loretta scored 24 #1 singles and 11 #1 albums. She’s the most awarded female country artist of all time, and the only female artist to be honored as an ACM Artist of the Decade (the 1970s.) The hit film “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was based on her autobiography, and it detailed her impoverished childhood, her friendship with mentor Patsy Cline, and her rocky marriage to her husband Doo. The couple stayed together for nearly 50 years until his death in 1996. She said he cheated on her and they fought often, but “he never hit me one time that I didn’t hit him back twice.”
Many of Loretta’s hit songs had a strong female empowerment message, such as “Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind),” and “The Pill,” which was banned on many country stations because of its frank talk about birth control. But while Loretta was often hailed as a feminist heroine, she thought the women’s lib movement ignored the struggles of poor and working class women. She once said, "I'm not a big fan of women's liberation, but maybe it will help women stand up for the respect they're due." But while her personal politics were conservative, she preferred to keep them to herself, saying, "I don't like to talk about things where you're going to get one side or the other unhappy. My music has no politics.”
That’s just one of many, many things that I wish today’s performers would learn from Loretta Lynn. Rest in peace.