“Coal Miner’s Daughter” Wows a Home State Crowd

Michael W. Stout

Fifty years ago, with the help of her husband, Doolittle “Mooney” Lynn, Butcher Holler, Kentucky native Loretta Lynn rode across the country in the backseat of a car visiting radio stations promoting her very first single, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” Fast-forward to January 28, 2011, on the stage of the Louisville Palace Theatre, the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is a bona fide country music legend who was treated like a genuine rock star as she served the sold-out crowd fan-requested hits spanning her illustrious career. Looking like the belle of the ball in her trademark floor-length gold gown and sounding exceedingly pristine for a 78-year-old songbird, Lynn wowed the crowd with hits like “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “You’re Looking at Country,” “Blue Kentucky Girl,” the one-time controversial “The Pill” and “One’s On the Way,” Conway Twitty duets “Lead Me On” and “Feelin’s,” “Fist City” (along with the shockingly revealing account of Doolittle’s infidelity that inspired this tune), and naturally the closing number, her autobiographical “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (her signature tune which led to a best-selling autobiography and critically-acclaimed movie which earned actress Sissy Spacek an Oscar for her portrayal of the country music pioneer).

Loretta Lynn

Photo By Mike Stout

Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Photo By Mike Stout

Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Photo By Mike Stout

Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Photo By Mike Stout

Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Photo By Mike Stout

Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Photo By Mike Stout

Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynn

The careers of many singers wane with time, but Loretta Lynn’s popularity reached a new stratosphere when she teamed with producer Jack White of The White Stripes fame to record the self-penned Van Lear Rose album in 2004. This must-have collection won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Country Album and its song “Portland, Oregon,” a duet with White, was named Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. White managed to give Lynn the boost of respect across all genres of music she so deserves, much like the rekindled fame Johnny Cash enjoyed after recording several albums with rock producer Rick Rubin during his last years. Late last year, Lynn was honored by musical peers and fans Miranda Lambert, The White Stripes, Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock, Alan Jackson, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Paramore, Reba McEntire, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Lee Ann Womack, Gretchen Wilson, Allison Moorer, and Faith Hill, who recorded a long overdue tribute album amply titled Coal Miner’s Daughter—A Tribute to Loretta Lynn.

On this cold winter night in her home state of Kentucky, Loretta Lynn proved what a new generation of music fans have fortunately discovered in recent years—Butcher Holler’s pride and joy truly is country music royalty. Fans were graced to be in the presence of the down-home legend and walked away overflowing with joy for having experienced a showcase of “real” country music delivered by one of the genre’s finest craftsmen. As long as Loretta Lynn continues to grace the stage, country music will never die!