Mom was born May 28, 1928 in Washington GA. Loretta Lynn was born April 14, 1932 in Butcher Hollow, KY.
I learned to love country and western music, the real stuff at Mom's knee. I was the youngest in the family, and got to spend hours on end listening to Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Ernest Tubb, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette, and Patsy Cline music with Mom ... and am drawn to their work to this day!
In my early twenties, I accompanied Mom to a Willie Nelson and a Johnny Cash concert. Both were thrilling for us! For Mom's 75th birthday, I was able to treat her to a trip to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry. Mom was a giver her whole life. It was heartwarming to see her turn into a little girl before my eyes, as she drank in the sights and sounds of Nashville.
I found Mom's memories in one of her journals upon her death. I realized that I had given myself a gift of a lifetime as well...
"My greatest gift of all was my 75th birthday gift, a week's stay in Nashville. The trip was indeed a dream.
"I had traveled by train many times but always by coach. The sleeping car was an experience and the meals were delicious. And the hotel had to be seen to be believed. Our room was 18-feet high. And the bed made you feel as if you were in a cocoon. All the places I wanted to visit were there.
"I had seen the Grand Ole Opry on TV but always wondered what the stage and building were actually like. And Ryman Auditorium had been a figment of my imagination. Now I saw where Opry had its beginning. The Country Music Hall of Fame brought back so many memories of country stars that had impressed me as a teenager and my growing up years.
"Country music has always been soothing for me. Any imagined problems can be forgotten while hearing Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson and the others singing their tunes. My love of country music has never dwindled as I grow older. I think it will always remind me of youth- time passing so fast. And I never realized that Nashville was home to so much history. The tours taught us that. The General Jackson Show Boat was a delight. The buffet was very delicious and the show was exceptional. Even the bit of sun on the deck felt good. It was truly a visit I will never forget. And I will always remember Maria for making it possible."
While Mom had several of Loretta's CDs in her collection, I was immediately drawn to the Van Lear Rose album, from 2004 that I was not at all familiar with. Loretta looked like a true blue Southern belle on the cover. Known as The Hillbilly Feminist, Loretta's music told stories that Mom, and no doubt many other women of her generation, and I could both relate to.
Loretta speaks on the cover of "her little daughter Patsy Lynn (who) stayed right with me and helps me so much. I couldn't have done this without her." She went on to talk of her pride in this album (produced by Jack White of the White Stripes) because "it just goes to show you that a song can bring all sorts of people together no matter what kind of musical background you come from".
I found hard rocker (love him too...), Jack White, to be the most unlikely musical partner for Loretta Lynn. This video interview gave me a full appreciation of what makes this duo, with a forty year age difference, work as beautifully as Loretta with Conway Twitty.
Here is a song featuring Loretta and Jack from the Van Lear Rose album.
In 2016, Loretta Lynn returned to the studio - twelve years after Van Lear Rose. In Full Circle, Loretta Lynn worked with John Carter Cash as co-producer...yup, that's Johnny Cash's son!
This album has new versions of Loretta's favorite childhood songs and others that span her 60-year career. Although I already have quite a few favorites that I wish I could share with Mom, this tune featuring another favorite, Elvis Costello is the song I'll share with you. Celebrating her 84th birthday in a week, Loretta Lynn has 'everything it takes' to win our hearts...take a listen to this ageless song bird.
Hoping you'll also enjoy these posts from a few more pro indie bloggers...
Until next week, keep a song in your heart, mar
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