Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on October 1st of 1969 Loretta Lynn records “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and two additional hits, “You Wanna Give Me A Lift” and “Wings Upon Your Horns,” during a productive evening at Bradley’s Barn in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Loretta Lynn really was born a coal miner’s daughter on April 14, 1932, and this autobiographical song reflects the hardships of growing up in rural Kentucky, where there was little money but a lot of love. Far from a lament, Lynn wears this song like a badge of honor and sings about how proud she is of her background. It was a change of pace for Lynn, who had gained popularity with tough-talking, assertive country classics like “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).” Lynn’s father, Theodore Melvin “Ted” Webb who worked the coal mines, faced risks of collapses, gas explosions, and gas poisoning and a host of potential illnesses every day, and if he was lucky, he could bring home a few dollars for his trouble. Webb lost his job at the Van Lear Coal Mines when he suffered a stroke when he was already struggling with pneumoconiosis (black lung), a chronic lung disease from regularly breathing in the dust in the mines. He would die of another stroke in 1959 at age 51.This topped the country chart for one week in December 1970. It was also Lynn’s first crossover to the Hot 100, where it peaked at #83. Lynn was supposed to be writing a bluegrass tune for the Osborne Brothers when she realized she was writing a distinctly female song. She said, “By the time I finished the first line I said, ‘Hey, that’s not going to do. They can’t be coal miner’s daughters – what’s wrong with me?”