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Loretta Lynn Obituary: The Nashville Lady

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Country singer Loretta Lynn is dead. She died Tuesday at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Her family said she died “peacefully in her sleep.” Lynn, who was born in Kentucky in 1932, was one of the most successful artists in her genre. Her hits were called “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)”, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind” or “Fist City”.

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Perhaps her best-known song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” is a three-minute autobiography sung by Lynn in a lusciously melting voice to banjo, honkytonk piano, and steel pedal guitar.

It is about a childhood in poor but loving circumstances, about the father’s hard work, in the fields by day and in a coal mine at night, about eight siblings and reading the Bible by the dim light of a kerosene lamp. A core sentence is: “We were poor but we had love.”

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“Coal Miner’s Daughter” (German title: “Nashville Lady”) is also the name of the film that director Apted shot in 1980. It is based on Lynn’s life and her incredible rise. Sissy Spacek plays Loretta Lynn, while Tommy Lee Jones plays county impresario Oliver Lynn, whom she married when she was 15. Lynn’s first single “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” got her an invitation to the Grand Ole Opry, the legendary country temple in Nashville.

Among her patrons was singer Patsy Cline, who was a country superstar in the post-war years. After Cline died in a plane crash in 1963, Lynn added her hit “I Fall to Pieces” to her repertoire. With that, the unofficial title of “First Lady of Country Music” passed to Lynn.

Between 1948 and 1964, Loretta Lynn gave birth to six children. Being a star is stressful. The relentless touring, the never-ending radio and television appearances, and the equally relentless work in the studio on new songs culminated in a collapse on the open stage. After a year-long hiatus at her ranch, the singer triumphantly returned.

In 1971, Loretta Lynn’s more successful collaboration with singer Conway Twitty began. Together they sang songs like As “Soon As I Hang Up The Phone”, “The Letter” or “Back Street Affair”. They made it to number one on the Country & Western charts five times.

Loretta Lynn was a conservative feminist. To the displeasure of some radio stations, she spoke and sang openly about sexuality, infidelity and pregnancy.

In 1988 she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in 2013 President Barack Obama presented her with the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. A month before her 89th birthday she released her last album “Still Woman Enough”. (with AFP)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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