Saturday, December 19, 1970

Loretta Lynn hit #1 with “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Coal Miner’s Daughter

Loretta Lynn

Writer(s): Loretta Lynn (see lyrics here)

Released: October 5, 1970

First Charted: October 31, 1970

Peak: 83 US, 11 CW, 10 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 18.0 video, 33.14 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Loretta Lynn is “one of the undisputed queens of modern country.” NRR For years Lynn wanted to write a song about her youth. She had some down time while doing a TV show in Nashville and wrote the song in her dressing room, crafting nine verses in a few hours. TR She crafted “vivid musical pictures of Daddy’s job at the Van Lear Cal Mines, Mommy’s bleeding fingers at the washboard, the kids barefoot in summer and shod from a mail-order catalog in winter.” TM

On October 1, 1969, she recorded the song along with “Wings Upon Your Horns” and “You Wanna Give Me a Lift.” She released the other two songs, but thought “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was too personal. As she said, “I didn’t believe anybody would buy a song just about me.” NRR However, it “proved to have a remarkable universality to it.” NRR

Few of her songs “carried as much drama, deprivation and heartache as her own rags-to-riches saga: born the second of eight children in a poor rural family; married by 13 to 21-year-old Oliver ‘Doolittle’ Lynn; enduring his infidelity for a decade before he gave her a guitar; blossoming into a singer-songwriter who used Doo’s misdeeds as her material.” TM

When it was finally released it became her fourth #1 and “the most significant record of Loretta Lynn’s career.” TR It was “a story…a lament…a tribute…[and] an anthem.” NRR It became the title of Loretta Lynn’s autobiography and the 1980 film in which Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for portraying Lynn.


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First posted 11/28/2022.

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