Just put down Loretta Lynn's autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, and let me tell you I only put it down because I came to the end of it. As I read, I kept yelling things out to whoever would listen, "Hey, did you know Loretta Lynn got married at 13? Did you know she had four kids by the time she was 18? Did you know she was part Native Indian? Did you know her husband's name is Doolittle? Did you know her sister's Crystal Gale? -- blah, blah, blah."
Needless to say, she's a fascinating lass, and although she often comes off as disingenuous in this book -- hey, it's an autobiography, you can write whatever the hell you want -- she's still totally sweet and hilarious. She gives props to Kitty Wells, talks about her friendship to Patsy Cline, and says she admires Dolly Parton. "Most of the women like me. They could see I was Loretta Lynn, a mother and wife and a daughter who had feelings just like other women. Sure, I wanted men to like me but the women were something special. They'd come around the bus after the show and they'd ask to talk to me. They felt I had the answer to their problems because my life was just like theirs." Of course, as much as she's got the sisterhood thing down, she's also more than ready, willing and able to punch a fellow gal in the face if you piss her off. That's my Loretta.
Another interesting fact: she was named after Loretta Young. Her mom plastered pictures of movie stars over her crib, and she liked Loretta Young and Claudette Colbert: "Lots of times I wonder if I would have made it in country music if I was named Claudette."
She started singing at 24, but she'd already been a housewife for a decade. No wonder she knows a thing or two. Interestingly enough, even though she wrote a bunch of her own songs, several of them were penned by Shel Silverstein, including "One's On The Way," which I didn't know. She wrote Fist City herself, though, and one of my personal favorites, "Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)."
Anyway, if you get a chance, read Coal Miner's Daughter. I've been a fan for a decade and I still learned a bunch of fun new facts, so it's worth your time even if you already know a lot about her. Oh, and someone please get me her cookbook for my birthday: