Loretta Lynn, known as the “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 4, 2022, at the age of 90. Though she never had any formal music training, Loretta made her name in country music, writing songs that drew from her own life experiences growing up in a loving but poor family as one of eight children in a Kentucky mining town. Loretta earned many accolades throughout her music career, including three Grammys, eight Country Music Association Awards (among them the honor of being named the first female artist to win the Entertainer of the Year Award), and member of the Grand Ole Opry.
We have compiled a reading list of books in the TBP collection that will give readers a peek into the life and legacy of Loretta Lynn:
ME & PATSY, KICKIN’ UP DUST: MY FRIENDSHIP WITH PATSY CLINE by LYNN, LORETTA (DB 99902 and LB 12843)
A country music legend looks back on her friendship with fellow icon Patsy Cline, who died at age thirty-one in 1963. They met when Lynn’s career was just getting started, but Cline was a star. Cline became a friend and mentor who was taken too soon. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
LORETTA LYNN: COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER by LYNN, LORETTA (DB 47599)
The country music star from Butcher Holler, Kentucky, recalls her life from rags to riches. Lynn emphasizes the importance of her twenty-five-year-old marriage and her faith in people and in God.
STILL WOMAN ENOUGH: A MEMOIR by LYNN, LORETTA (DB 54166)
Country singer continues her autobiography begun in COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER. Includes reminiscences of her career and friendship with Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, and other entertainers; her stormy marriage to her late husband, Doolittle Lynn; and her relationships with her children. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2002.
COUNTRY MUSIC: A HISTORY by DUNCAN, DAYTON (DB 96527)
Companion to the PBS documentary series chronicles country music from its roots in the American South to the modern commercial successes of the genre, which encompasses a wide range of sounds and styles. Profiles and interviews some of country’s biggest stars (including Loretta Lynn). Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
SING ME BACK HOME: LOVE, DEATH, AND COUNTRY MUSIC by JENNINGS, DANA ANDREW (DB 68110)
New York Times editor explains the ways the classic country music of the 1950s to 1970s resonated with the rural, working-class lives of his New Hampshire family and neighbors. Discusses legendary musicians like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn and their effect on audiences. Strong language. 2008.
CLASSIC COUNTRY MUSIC: A SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION by MALONE, BILL (available for download though BARD: DBM 03645. For a physical cartridge contact the NLS Music Division: firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-424-8567 ext. 2)
A Smithsonian Folkways recording. “The recordings presented [here]… are intended to be both historically representative and esthetically appealing; thus, the listener can enjoy hearing the music and at the same time gain an understanding of its sources, evolution, styles, and meaning. The set accurately documents country music’s past and offers a good cross-section of the newer performers and styles”—Publisher’s note (includes “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn and “After the Fire is Gone” by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty).