Loretta Lynn will perform Jan. 19 in Huntsville.
Loretta Lynn to tell her story again, in song, from VBC stage
By Ronnie Thomas
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Loretta Lynn croons "Story of My Life" on the closing track of "Van Lear Rose," the Jack White-produced album.
"Not half bad for this ol' Kentucky girl, I guess ... here's the story of my life. Listen close, I'll tell it twice."
During the past 45 years, Lynn and others have told her rags-to-riches tale again and again, bouncing it like an echo from the coalfields of Butcher Holler to the world.
She rolled most of the story into one in "The Coal Miner's Daughter." The tag refers to a hit single, an album, a best-selling autobiography and an Oscar-winning film.
But to reach the heart of Lynn, and for her to reach yours, you have to see her up there, on stage, up close and personal, and let her tell you that story three times in song, one a devoted fan never tires of.
That's how area fans can catch her Jan. 19 — on stage at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
Lynn's talent and production levels seem only to rise with age. For example, it wasn't until her collaboration with White in 2004 that she combined her power full force as a songwriter and vocalist.
In the liner notes, she says, "This is the first time I wrote all the songs on a record, and I hope you like 'em."
Fans did like 'em, each and every one of 'em, and the magic sparked between Lynn, the country music icon, and White, a Detroit garage rocker who founded Jack White and the Stripes, was phenomenal.
From 1962, when Lynn released "Success," the single that became her first Top 10 hit, until she performed with White, she had become someone who could deliver a song in whatever mode she wanted. In effect, she had become, as one writer dubbed, the "toughest, meanest, fiercest, warmest and sexiest voice in country music."
She married Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn in 1949, when she was only 13. She had four children by the time she was 17 and became a grandmother at 29. Lynn's songs cut deep, most of them taken from life with Doolittle.
"You Ain't Woman Enough (to take my man)," "Don't Come Home a 'Drinkin' (with lovin' on your mind)" and "One's on the Way," pretty much speak for themselves, as do "I Know How," "Your Squaw Is on the Warpath," "When the Tingle Becomes a Chill" and "The Pill."
Lynn spent the decade of the 1990s away from the spotlight, caring for her ailing husband and, after he died in 1996, grieving her loss.
She knows the music landscape took a different turn during her absence, but it's also a scene she helped create. For certain, Lynn is the one who gave the edge to Shania Twain for her song, "Any Man of Mine" and to Deana Carter for "Did I Shave My Legs for This?" The titles have that Lynn flavor.
Lynn has written about 160 songs and clicked off 52 Top 10 hits and 16 No. 1's. She'll have a lot to choose from in Huntsville and she'll be poised to sing a lot of 'em, the old and new.
How to go
What: Loretta Lynn in concert
When: Friday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m.
Where: Von Braun Center Concert Hall
Tickets: $45.50 for lower level seats and $35.50 for upper level seats, available at the VBC box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (800) 277-1700
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