19 hours ago
Sunday, June 14, 2009
KENTUCKY'S COUNTRY QUEEN, LORETTA LYNN
Those of you that read my blog all the time know that I like to write about famous Kentuckians. This lady is Kentucky's most well known country music artist, Loretta Lynn.
I plan to write about several of our songwriters and musicians in the future and if you want to hear the music of each person, it will be playing in the background while you read the post. If you don't want to hear the music, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and turn it off!
Loretta Lynn was born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky on April 14, 1935. She was the second of 8 children. That part of Kentucky is known for its coal mines and a lot of poverty.
Loretta married Oliver Vanetta Lynn at the ripe old age of 13 in 1948. Oliver's nickname was Doolittle or Mooney. Mooney was from his early career of running moonshine. Loretta had her first child at the age of fourteen and four by the age of seventeen. She was a grandmother at thirty two. They were married for almost 50 years and had 6 children all together, including a set of twins, Peggy and Patsy. Peggy was named for her mother and Patsy was named after the great Patsy Cline.
I am sure most of you have seen the movie, Coal Miners Daughter or read the book by the same name. If not, they are both worth your time.
Loretta has written over 160 songs, released 17 number one albums, and had 16 number one singles on the country charts. She was the first woman named, Entertainer of the Year, by the Country Music Association and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She ruled country music during the 60s and 70s.
Loretta and Doo bought the entire town of Hurricane Mills, Tennessee and their 1817 plantation home there is billed as the 7th largest attraction in Tennessee. She filmed her famous Crisco commercials from the kitchen of the big house.
The Lynns had a son, Jack Benny, that drowned in 1984.
Doo died in 1996 and Loretta moved to a smaller house behind the big one where she resides today. The big house is open for tours.
I heard Marie Osmond say once that she started out singing country music because Loretta was one of her idols.
A favorite saying is supposed to be, "Honey, life flies by so you have to make every day count!"
A few years back, I made a trip to Butcher Holler to see her childhood home. It was an experience!
Finding the place was like looking for a needle in a haystack. We went to Paintsville, Kentucky and began asking directions. Everyone knew where it was but there was no roadside signs or anything at this time. The first thing we finally found was a rock with an arrow pointing down a country road.
Finally, we came upon a country store that was run by her brother, Herman. He told us he would lead us up to the old house and it cost $5 per person to enter and look around.
We followed him up a gravel road to the house. His dog ran along beside his car all the way up the road. The house sits on top of a hill and was worth the $5 to have a look around. There was an old wishing well in the yard and a lot of the furniture, according to Herman, was the original furnishings during the time they grew up. He said the wood cooking stove was original, too. There was lots of family pictures and photos around the place and pictures of her after she got famous.
This lady has endured poverty to become a major star and is a staunch survivor today.
I am proud she is from my home state of Kentucky!