Sunday, June 07, 2015

Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter

As I have delved into country music, Loretta Lynn has been a stand-out with her strong vocals, sassy
lyrics and catchy melodies. Her songs depicted a strong woman who wouldn't put up with any b.s. from her man, which made me want to learn more about this pioneer in C&W, who came into vogue at a time when it was very much a male-dominated field.

Written with George Vecsey - it actually seems like she basically dictated her story and Vecsey edited and arranged it in a coherent fashion - the book tells the tale of her life through the early 70's, when it was published. It is all very home-spun (she insists on her home of Butcher Hollow be written as Butcher Holler), but well-done and it gives a good overview of her story to date.

Of course, she tells of growing up as a daughter of a coal miner, and their travels, trials and tribulations, and the her wedding to an older man when she was only 14. Her husband was a bit of a scoundrel and a cheater (though she takes pains to say that some of her most famous cheating songs were based on others, which seems unlikely) as well as insulting and somewhat cruel, but he did believe that she had talent and pushed her into her career.

From there she talks about the trajectory of her music, as well as things like her relationship with her husband, her views on religion and the supernatural, her health, her fans and lots more.

I quite enjoyed this and it does make you feel like you are learning who this country star really is - and you do feel sorry for her in a lot of ways, some that she does not intend. But you can't deny her songwriting and singing talent and she is a true star of the field.