Loretta's Early years:
Loretta Lynn was born Loretta Webb on April 14, 1934 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. She was the second of eight children, and older sister to Crystal Gayle. She married Oliver "Mooney" Lynn at the age of 13, had four children by the time she was 17, and was a grandmother by the age of 29.
Loretta grew up singing in church, and at the age of 18, taught herself how to play a guitar. She appeared on a televised talent contest, hosted by Buck Owens, where she was seen by Norm Burley who was one of the founders of Zero Records. They signed her to their label, and she recorded her first album, Honky Tonk Girl.
Loretta and Mooney drove from radio station to radio station promoting the album, making their way to Nashville. When they got to Nashville, Loretta began cutting demos for the Wilburn Brothers Publishing Company, and through the Wilburn's connections, she was able to secure a contract with Decca Records.
Loretta Makes it Five:
As Loretta started her career in the 1960's, there were four women that were big country stars. These were Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Skeeter Davis and Jean Shepherd. By the end of 1962, Loretta was on her way to joining their ranks. Between 1955 and 1970, Loretta had thirteen Top 10 hits, four of which were No. 1 songs.
Loretta in the 1970's:
Loretta was the first woman in country music to have fifty Top 10 hits. Her songs were many times autobiographical, and very empowering to women.
From the 1990's through Today:
In the 1990's, Loretta joined Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette to record the successful Honky Tonk Angels album. It wasn't until 2000 that Loretta released another album, Still Country, which gained critical praise, but didn't do well in sales. In 2004, she released Van Lear Rose, which was produced by Jack White of The White Stripes.
Loretta still tours today, playing dates in casinos, theaters and fairs, as well as several dates throughout the year at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN.