How Loretta Lynn Inspired Me to Be a Country Radio DJ
The country music world has lost one of its legendary ladies with the passing of Loretta Lynn at age 90.
Born on April 14, 1932, Lynn's family shared that she passed away at her home on Tuesday. "Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills," the statement read.
I was a nine-year-old kid when my aunt & uncle stopped by the house one evening and offered to take my brother and me to a movie about a country singer. Naturally, I was excited to go to a nighttime film regardless of the story.
However, the film left an indelible impression, and I became an admirer of Loretta Lynn at a young age. So, naturally, I enjoyed her music, but I appreciated her story and film just as much.
I recall watching the scenes with Loretta Lynn visiting radio stations to pitch her music and records. Even though I was pretty young, I remember wondering what it was like to be a part of the radio world. I couldn't sing a note but did relate to the radio DJs. I was fascinated by this glimpse behind these scenes, and I had an inkling that there was exciting stuff at country music stations.
Stories like Lynn's, where the protagonist overcomes insurmountable odds, were quite prevalent in the 1970s and early 80s. Likewise, a film like "Rocky" comes to mind as one that captures the human spirit rising above an individual's circumstances.
I digress, but why do they no longer make films that aim to inspire the audience?
Nonetheless, Loretta Lynn leaves behind a legacy the likes of which we may never see again in country music and entertainment. As a coal miner's daughter from Butcher Holler, Kentucky, the rags-to-riches story is as exciting and authentic as you will find in the history of country music.
Married at 13 years of age in a poverty-stricken Kentucky coal mining town, the odds were stacked against her in life, much less being a household name and star who would one day be recognized worldwide.
Nevertheless, the 1980 autobiographical film Coal Miner's Daughter was a box office hit starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta and Tommy Lee Jones as her hard-drinking and philandering husband, Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn.
Audiences across America applauded the film. It received seven Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress Oscar for Spacek. In addition, the soundtrack won acclaim and awards, including a Grammy for Spacek, who performed Lynn's songs for the film and soundtrack album.
The numerous awards are too long to list, but Lynn wrote more than 160 songs and made 60 albums. Ten of which were number 1 with 16 number 1 singles. In short, Loretta Lynn is the most awarded woman in Country music and the first to have a certified cold album for the 1967 album, "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)."
There will be an outpouring of tributes to a true trailblazer. But I would submit that the magic of Hollywood storytelling also forever endeared Lynn to her legion of fans.
October 4, 2022 Text Message From My Brother