10 Essential Loretta Lynn Songs


Nobody told the truth better than Loretta Lynn, the country music legend who died on October 4 at the age of 90. Her seven-decade career was filled with autobiographical songs that resonated with millions of people because of her candour and fearlessness, with more than 50 top 10 songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, including 16 No. 1s.


Despite being an unabashed country music purist, her approach to a lyric was anything but traditional. Lynn wasn’t afraid to confront taboo topics like birth control, motherhood, and infidelity in novel ways. Even when country radio banned her for songs like 1975’s “The Pill,” she was unafraid to speak her mind, knowing that her fans could relate to her genuine stories.
Lynn’s first hit was “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” which peaked at No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in 1960. In 1962, she reached the top ten with the aptly titled “Success.” Her first No. 1 hit was the fiery “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” in 1966.

Her material’s lyrical content helped to make her an iconic performer in the 1970s, landing her on the cover of Newsweek magazine and becoming the subject of a best-selling autobiography as well as an Oscar-winning film that stands as one of the greatest music-related films of all time.
Here are ten song performances by Loretta Lynn that helped define — and shape — the legend.
The song “Blue Kentucky Girl” (1965)


While the majority of classic Loretta Lynn songs were written by her, this aching song of loneliness from her 1964 album Songs From My Heart was written by Johnny Mullins. Emmylou Harris tipped her hat to Lynn fifteen years later with a faithful hit cover of this timeless song.
Play “Blue Kentucky Girl.”

“You’re Not a Woman Enough (to Take My Man)” (1966)


This song, inspired by a real-life incident, warns another woman who has her sights set on the singer’s man and has become one of Lynn’s most covered songs over the years. Martina McBride paid tribute to Lynn with a cover on her 2005 album Timeless, and the Grateful Dead performed it in concert in the early 1970s. However, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s performance of this song as an extra for the 2005 film Be Cool is perhaps the most interesting.
Play “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”

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