It’s two weeks since Loretta Lynn died. She was buried in a private ceremony on her home estate at Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on October 7th and it is expected there will be a public celebration of her life in the coming weeks and months. Loretta’s long life neatly spanned the length of time country music (as we now know it) has existed.
The famous Bristol Sessions, known to be the ‘big bang’ of country music had occurred just six years before she was born and her own career ran alongside and beyond most of the legends we now associate with the genre. What made Loretta Lynn unique is that she broke so many barriers without ever setting out to be any kind of rebel. Her instinct seemingly guided all her choices and that instinct led to her breaking many of the taboos that had limited the scope and impact of popular music until that point. That she wrote her own songs, wrote the first one after giving birth to her fourth child, wrote these songs alone and that these songs became akin to anthems for female liberation are just some of the reasons why Loretta is still essential listening to anyone who’s interested in contemporary music.
On this Tuesday’s Another Country I’ll be back in my usual chair to bring you two hours of country music our way which will be sprinkled throughout with gems from Loretta’s back catalogue. It’s an astonishing body of work which demands all of us to go back and listen again. I’ve said this here before, but if you’ve never seen Coal Miner’s Daughter (Loretta Lynn biopic) it’s one of the great films of all time and certainly an essential Country Movie.
I’m very grateful to Bill Demain, Gretchen Peters, Brandy Clark and Raul Malo for the fine shows they produced in my absence. I’m also grateful to so many of you who came out to see me on my recent sojourn. It was lovely to meet so many folks on the road who also listened to the AC every Tuesday. I’ll be playing some fine things I collected including some vinyl picks found on my crate-digging days off in Leeds and Guildford.
Finally I will be reintroducing you to the music of Hannah White who was my guest on my recent tour and will be joining me when I get to Ireland later in the year. Hannah’s songs and story-telling connected with my own audience in a way I’ve seldom seen. It was great to witness an artist being embraced by a new audience and I know there are so many fine things to come from her.
If all this is not enough we’ll be telling you about next year’s C2C and playing you some essential new releases. It all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland FM this Tuesday evening and at a time and place of your choosing on BBC Sounds.