Loretta Lynn certainly deserves a lot of credit and acclaim for her lengthy musical career. She came from nothing and ended up being one of country's greatest stars.
Lynn grew up in Butcher Holler, Ky., in the poor mining region of the state. Her story is pretty much well-known, thanks in part to the movie of her autobiography "Coal Miner's Daughter." She was born in a one-room log cabin, married at 13, became a mother a year later. Due to a lot of hard-work on the part of Lynn and her husband Mooney, she had a hit with I'm a Honky Tonk Girl in 1960.
She made her way to Nashville and worked with the Wilburn brothers both on the road and their television show.
While Lynn's career mushroomed, it was with songs like You Ain't Woman Enough and Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind) that made the singer stand out from the pack. She wrote songs from a woman's perspective and wasn't afraid to state how she felt.
Lynn's career continued with a slew of duets with Conway Twitty and her own songs. By 1988, Lynn was in the Country Music Hall of Fame, cementing her impact on country and for women in particular.
On Tuesday Lynn received another honor - the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the folks behind the Grammys, honored Lynn with a presentation of its Merit Award at the Ryman in Nashville. With Reba McEntire serving as host, Lee Ann Womack, Gretchen Wilson, Kid Rock and Martina McBride helped celebrate Lynn's golden anniversary in country music.
Jack White, who produced Lynn's last disc, the very very well-received "Van Lear Rose," spoke about Lynn, calling her "the most important female singer-songwriter of the 20th century." That, of course, is debatable, but there is no doubt of Lynn's importance to music - not just country.
Congrats to Lynn for continuing to make music that mattered for many decades. Let's hope that Lynn puts out some new music some day soon.