The undisputed Queen of Country, Loretta Lynn has had quite the career for almost 60 years. She brought us countless hits and introduced us to music featuring a feminist viewpoint with the songs “Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” and “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind).”
Her partnership with Conway Twitty skyrocketed her already successful career, but what made Lynn a legend in the eyes of not just country music fans, but the entire nation, was the debut of the film Coal Miner’s Daughter.
She was the first woman in country music to have 50 Top Ten hits and she will definitely not be the last. Lynn paved the way for women in country music and will go down in history as a legend.
Even though she is a widely-known public figure, Lynn kept her secrets, and some she kept VERY well. Let’s take a look at 7 things you might not know about The Coal Miner’s Daughter.
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1. She Is Named After An Actress
Loretta’s mother, Clary, was a huge fan of Loretta Young, an American actress known for her films Come to the Stable and The Farmer’s Daughter.
Her mom found a newspaper with “a picture of an actress named Loretta Young,” Lynn told Country Living. “My mommy thought she was so beautiful that when I was born she named me after her.”
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2. Her Family Used Sears Catalogs As Wallpaper
Growing up in a tiny cabin with seven brothers and sisters couldn’t have been easy. Loretta’s parents worked hard to keep a roof above their heads, but sometimes, that’s all they could do. During the winter months, Clary would line the walls of their cabin with Sears catalogs because they couldn’t afford wallpaper.
“My mommy and daddy had 8 kids, so there were 10 of us living in a small cabin in the mountains (pictured),” says Lynn. “The winters were cold, so my mommy glued newspapers and pages from old Sears Roebuck catalogs to the wall to help keep the cold out. We didn’t have money for wallpaper, but my mommy made that old house stay warm and beautiful.”
3. She Knew Her Husband For One Month Before They Got Married
On January 10, 1948, Loretta married Oliver Lynn, who also went by the nicknames “Mooney”, “Doolittle”, or “Doo”. They met in December 1947. She was 15 and he was 21-years-old when they were married. They had their first child together when she was 16 and had three more by the time she was 20. They had six children together and were married until Doo’s death in 1996.
4. She May Or May Not Have Lied About Her Age
In her autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta Lynn wrote that she was married at age 13 and a mother of four by 18. Her marriage certificate, on the other hand, states she was married just before her 16th birthday. USA Today reports that in 1948, the year, Loretta and Doo got married, it was illegal to get married under the age of 14 in Kentucky.
In her autobiography, she writes about not wanting to focus on her age.
“When I was born, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the president for several years. That’s the closest I’m gonna come to telling my age in this book, so don’t go looking for it,” she writes. “I’m trying to make a living singing songs. I don’t need nobody out there saying, ‘She don’t look bad considering she’s such-and-such years old.'”
5. She Wrote Her Very First Song On A Fishing Trip
Thanks to her 2012 memoir Honky Tonk Girl, we got to learn a little more about the Queen of Country, like where she was when she wrote her first song. She was living in Washington state, with her young children and husband when they went fishing one day.
“One day we went fishing. I don’t know why I just sat down and wrote a song. But I remember being shocked that those lyrics just came pourin’ out of me,” she said. ” I wrote my very first lyric when I wrote ‘Whispering Sea.'”
6. She’s Got Her Own Style of Writing
Jack White, who served as producer on her 2004 album Van Lear Rose, talked about her unique writing style in the documentary American Master’s.
“She sort of writes with a double chorus, there isn’t one chorus, per se, when you listen to her songs,” he says. “There are two choruses, she starts with the second one and then comes back the first part.”
7. She Became A Grandmother When She Was 34
Loretta Lynn welcomed her youngest daughters in 1964 at age 32. Two years later, her eldest daughter, Betty Sue, had a baby, making Loretta a grandmother when she was 34!
Although Betty Sue is no longer with us, her memory will live on forever in the hearts of the Lynn family and all the fans who loved her.
Loretta Lynn is known as one of the pioneering women of country music for good reason and this extensive list of facts about her fascinating life should bring joy to any country music fan who reads it! We hope you enjoyed it!