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Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl

Inducted into more music Halls of Fame than any female recording artist to date, Loretta Lynn (b. April 14, 1932) has earned four Grammy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and sold more than 45 million records worldwide. Still going strong after more than 50 years, “The Queen of Country Music” is now the subject of the new documentary American Masters – Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl during Women’s History Month as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series.

With unprecedented access to Lynn, her family and archives, Still a Mountain Girl features never-before-seen home movies, performances and photos, as well as insightful interviews with her friends and fellow musicians, including Jack White (producer of Lynn’s Grammy-winning album Van Lear Rose), Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert and Bill Anderson.

The documentary also features never-before-seen footage of Lynn in the studio with producer John Carter Cash, as she records Full Circle and other new songs at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn. Filming with Lynn, her family and business team also took place at her ranch and other locations in Hurricane Mills, TN, the community she formed as a re-creation of her Appalachia birthplace, Butcher Hollow, KY, where she was raised in poverty. Other interviews include Sissy Spacek, who starred as Lynn in the Oscar-winning biographical film of her life, Coal Miner’s Daughter (based on Lynn’s 1976 autobiography), and its director Michael Apted.

Learn more about the film.

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[ Horn honks ] ♪♪ LYNN: Well, I was born the coal miner's daughter, a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler.

We were poor, but we had love.

that's the one thing my daddy made sure of.

And he shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar.

My daddy, he worked all night in the Van Lear Coal Mines... ♪ All day long in the field, a-hoein' corn ♪ ♪ Mommy rocked the babies at night ♪ ♪ And read the Bible by the coal-oil light ♪ ♪ And everything would start all over come break of morn ♪ ♪ Daddy loved and raised eight kids on a miner's pay ♪ ♪ Mommy scrubbed our clothes on a washboard every day ♪ ♪ Why I've seen her fingers bleed ♪ ♪ To complain, there was no need.. ♪ OBAMA: Loretta Lynn was 19 the first time she won the big -- she won big at the local fair.

Her canned vegetables brought home 17 blue ribbons... [ Laughter ] ...and made her Canner of the Year.

[ Laughter ] Now, that's impressive.

For a girl from Butcher Holler, Kentucky, that was fame.

Fortunately for all of us, she decided to try her hand at things other than canning.

Her first guitar cost $17, and with it, this coal miner's daughter gave voice to a generation singing what no one wanted to talk about and saying what no one wanted to think about.

And now, over 50 years after she cut her first record and canned her first vegetables, [ Laughter ] Loretta Lynn still reigns as the rule-breaking, record-setting queen of country music.

[ Applause ] LYNN: Oh heavens.

I never thought of anything like this when I was a kid.

Growing up in Butcher Holler, that's where you'll stay, you know, you thought.

We were way back in the hills.

We were poor. We were poor.

But we didn't starve, that's the main thing.

♪ Yeah, I'm proud to be a coal miner's daughter ♪ ♪ I remember well the well where I drew water ♪ ♪ The work we did was hard ♪ At night, we'd sleep 'cause we were tired ♪ ♪ I never thought of ever leavin' Butcher Holler ♪ WHITE: The rags-to-riches story of her is so true and so real.

Not too many people have actually had it exactly like she's had it, from a real part of America, not growing up in some plastic version of America.

You couldn't get any more real than Butcher Holler.

ALL: ♪ Well, a lot of things have changed since way back then ♪ ♪ Oh, it's so good to be back home again ♪ ♪ Not much left but the floors, nothing lives here anymore ♪ ♪ 'Cept the memories of a coal miner's daughter ♪ [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] LYNN: Thank you.

SPACEK: There's something about the Appalachian mountains, the mountains that Loretta grew up in -- It's like there's something really spiritual about them.

I's like, so, it... they're like her church.

And now they're like my church.

That nature that's all around, you know.

She grew in that, and it's been desecrated over the years by people who've come in and exploited the coal, the timber.

They've brought down mountains.

And yet, those people that have been taken advantage of for years, for decades, maybe even a century, have survived by, you know, their tight-knit families.

Music is at the core of their beings.

And despite all of the exploitation of those mountains, they're beautiful, and much of it has survived, as you see.

Loretta's still living in those Appalachian Mountain chains, and so am I.

♪♪ WOMAN: And then I'll do this, and you do that, You just hand them a fifty back.

OERMANN: Well, you know, the Loretta Lynn story... you had to be from Mars not to know it by heart.

I mean the book, 'Coal miner's Daughter,' was a It was a fantastic book.

Got made into an Oscar-winning film, which was seen all over the world, and it's pretty accurate.

I mean, yes, she was a little mountain girl whose father was a coal miner and who grew up with music all around her, who got married very young to a local guy, who took her across the country to Washington State and, in that isolation, being taken away from her culture and away from her family, it threw her back on herself, I think, as a musician, and threw her inward in a way.

And she begins to play the guitar and sing and make up these songs, almost as a way of keeping that culture with her because she's isolated.

She's way, way from home.

LYNN: My daddy could pick up anything and play it.

Play a tune on anything.

Mommy could, too.

All my brothers did.

You leave there and see other people, and they don't play instruments, you don't know what to think about it.

But hill people can all do it.

They figure it's just a part of their life.

I used to swing on the front porch, and sing just as loud as I could sing.

And Daddy came out one day and said, 'Loretty, will you hush that big mouth?

Everybody in this holler can hear you.'

I said, 'Well, Daddy, what difference does it make?

Everybody's my cousin, anyway.'

♪ Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes ♪ ♪ Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes ♪ ♪ Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes ♪ ♪ I'll never love blue eyes again ♪ ♪ Willie, my darling, I love you ♪ ♪ I love you with all of my heart ♪ ♪ Tomorrow we might have been married ♪ ♪ But the bottle has kept us apart ♪ OERMANN: She originally had us believe that she was 13 when she got married, and she was very young, but she wasn't quite that young.

The birth certificate has since been found, and she was really 15 when she got married.

But that's still young, you know.

SPACEK: Doolittle was a petite man.

He wasn't a giant guy, but he had a giant persona.

And he really has fire inside of him.

Doolittle was a sweet, funny, darling man, but he was also highly excitable, and -- and he had a... You know, you could set him off.

And that's kind of an attractive quality to 13 year olds. [ Laughs ] He had that little -- You know, that little rascal was in there, that smart rascal.

MAN: There's a bit in your book and in the movie where it's kind of clear you didn't know what was going to happen on your wedding night.

LYNN: You can say that again. [ Laughs ] There's no telling what -- I'm telling you, it was all this thing ever was.

No, you don't know.

How could you know at that age?

Mommy didn't tell us nothing.

What we learned, we learned ourselves.

DOOLITTLE: Loretty, you ain't supposed to wear a nightgown -over your clothes. -LYNN: I'm freezing.

DOOLITTLE: [ Chuckles ] Get on in there, and take off everything but your nightgown, now.

Go on, Loretty. Go on.

On. On, now.

RUSSELL: The funny thing about my mom, she really is, to this day, very innocent.

My grandmother and grandfather on my Mom's side of the family, they were very quiet, really shy people, and I can see where they didn't talk about things like where babies come from or having those kind of conversations with their children.

My Dad's side of the family are the Lynns.

And they are Irish and they are loud and funny and they probably talked about it all.

APTED: There's a real roughness to the beginning of their life together.

A kind of violence about it and a threat about it.

And I don't think you should compromise that, because they travelled a great distance to be in love.

DOOLITTLE: It's just a little rough the first time, -Loretty, is all. -LYNN: [ Whimpering ] DOOLITTLE: Don't worry about that.

APTED: He'd been to war, he was a soldier and she was this kid, this virgin child and all this sort of thing.

And if you pussyfoot around that and try and soften that, you'll miss the whole joy of the relationship and the joy of the love story because they were dead lucky because she became rich and famous.

But nonetheless, it was a real journey that had a very inauspicious beginning and could have ended in tears and all sorts of things.

But they had a mountain to climb.

Unless you present that mountain, then there's no achievement in doing what they did.

DOOLITTLE: Baby, it's just a little rough the first time, that's all.

LYNN: Didn't seem too rough on you.

DOOLITTLE: Well, you better get used to it, darling, because that's what a damn marriage -is all about right there. -LYNN: I ain't gonna get used to you getting on me and sweating like an old pig!

ERNEST RAY: The movie portrays Dad as being mean to Mama.

Mama whupped his ass regular.

I mean she knocked those front teeth out, they'd get in fights out in this front yard, and she'd turn him flips and everything else out here.

He'd be drunk.

LYNN: I'd stand up and fight him.

If he smacked me or anything, I'd stand up and fight him just like I'd be fighting another woman, you know.

He'd smack me, I'd smack him.

He'd pull my hair, I pulled his hair.

[ Chuckles ] That's the way it was.

But me and Doo got along good.

I just moved out of my daddy's house with Doo.

We went to Western Washington, and that's where I lived for 15 years.

That's where I was living when I started singing.

♪ Some mornings when you wake up all alone ♪ ♪ Just come on home to your blue Kentucky girl ♪ ERNEST RAY: We moved from Butcher Holler.

My oldest sister, Betty, and Jack was born in Kentucky, and me and Cissy, my sister who's 11 months younger than me, we was born in Bellingham, Washington.

Dad was a mechanic there, and then he worked on a dairy farm.

And Mama did the cooking for the help and Dad did the milking.

Did 160 cows in the morning from 4:00 to 8:00, and 4:00 to 8:00 in the afternoon.

And then in the daytime cut hay and stuff.

LYNN: Hard on me. You know, I didn't know anybody and I never got out of the house and he kept me in the house with one baby right after the other.

So he come in one night, and I thought he was going to take me out, you know.

He said no, he was going out by himself.

I had Ernest Ray and Cissy both in my arms.

Ernest couldn't walk, and I had a tiny baby.

He pull my hair, pulled one of them pink curlers.

Pulled it out and hurt my head so.

He was drinking. So I just set Ernest down.

I kept Cissy in my arms, but I went around -- and meant to hit him in the shoulder -- and I hit him in the mouth and knocked two teeth out.

I heard teeth hitting the floor, and I thought 'Oh, my God. I'm dead. I know I'm dead.

He's not going to put up with this.'

But, you know, he laughed.

He went around with two teeth missing forever until we got the money to get him some teeth, and we did that after I started singing.

[ Chuckles ] He was kind of proud of it, yeah.

He'd tell them, 'My old lady knocked 'em out.' [ Chuckles ] ♪ Well, I like my lovin' done country style ♪ ♪ And this little girl would walk a country mile ♪ ♪ To find her a good, old slow-talkin' country boy ♪ ♪ I said a country boy ♪ I'm about as old-fashioned as I can be ♪ ♪ So I hope you're likin' what you see ♪ ♪ If you're lookin' at me, you're lookin' at country ♪ ♪ You don't see no city when you look at me ♪ ♪ 'Cause country is all I am ♪ I love runnin' bare-footed through the old corn fields ♪ ♪ And I love that country ham ♪ Well, you say I'm made just to fit your plans ♪ ♪ But does a barnyard shovel fit your hands? ♪ ♪ If your eyes are on me, you're lookin' at country ♪ ♪ If your eyes are on me, you're lookin' at country ♪ [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] ERNEST RAY: You know, she had four kids and Dad got her an old guitar and she learned herself to play bar chords.

And there's a little old bar that Dad used to go to there in Blaine, Washington.

And Dad told her, says, 'You're a better singer than them girls and guys that's getting up there and singing' and stuff.

And Mama -- 'I ain't going to that bar' and stuff.

LYNN: The band was out playing, and Doo drug me out on the stage and said, 'I want you to let this girl sing.

Next to Kitty Wells, she's the best singer in the country.'

And they said, 'Well, we'll listen to her later on.'

Well, Doo said, 'Well, what day?'

And they said they had to get busy to tell him, you know, exactly when they were going to do that.

And Doo said, 'I'm gonna hold you to it.'

OERMANN: I think that Doo was very much a part of her making it.

I mean, she was a native talent.

She spoke from the vernacular.

She just did what she did -- didn't know that it was special.

He recognized that it was special and that she belonged where she went.

You know, he had the vision.

LYNN: And I sang, 'You Are My Sunshine.'

I didn't have a lot of songs because I didn't know a bunch, you know?

And they said, 'Saturday night, bring her in, and we'll put her in the band.'

So, that's the way it started.

And I got my job playing with the band.

I was making $12 on Saturday night, and I thought, 'I'm gonna get rich.'

Well, you know, I started trying to write before I ever sang, and I never could get it together, so I just quit.

And then when I started singing, I looked at the songbook and thought, 'Well, heck, this is easy.'

So I threw the songbook down and wrote my own songs.

ERNEST RAY: When I was a kid, she worked in the strawberry fields and stuff.

She'd take me and Cis and put at the end and she'd take an old paper sack and she'd be picking strawberries, a nickel a crate.

And she'd stack them strawberries up, she'd be writing -- What was her first one, song? Um... -CRYSTAL: 'Honky Tonk Girl.' -LYNN: She wrote it in a strawberry field, just on a paper sack.

♪♪ LYNN: ♪ Ever since you left me, I've done nothing but wrong ♪ ♪ Many nights I've laid awake and cried ♪ ♪ We once were happy, my heart was in a whirl ♪ ♪ But now I'm a honky tonk girl ♪ ♪ So turn that jukebox way up high ♪ ♪ And fill my glass up while I cry ♪ ♪ I've lost everything in this world ♪ ♪ And now I'm a honky tonk girl ♪ ♪ Yeah YEARWOOD: The earliest thing that she recorded that is my favorite -is 'Honky Tonk Girl.' -BROOKS: Oh, my God.

YEARWOOD: That might be my favorite Loretta Lynn song. I don't know.

It's tough to pick, but 'Honky Tonk Girl' is -- -BROOKS: That's badass. -YEARWOOD: Yeah.

BROOKS: You know, it's that whole... ♪ So turn that jukebox way up high ♪ ♪ Doodle-doo, doo-doo ♪ And fill my glass up while I cry ♪ ♪ I've lost... TOGETHER: ...everything in this world ♪ ♪ And now I'm a honky tonk girl ♪ BROOKS: Yeah, that's how you swing that.

Great songs are timeless.

-Count that as one of them. -YEARWOOD: Yeah.

LYNN: ♪ Ever since you left me, I've done nothing but wrong ♪ ♪ Many nights, I've laid awake and cried ♪ ♪ We once were happy, my heart was in a whirl ♪ ♪ Oh, but now I'm a honky tonk girl ♪ OERMANN: He sees what she's doing, her husband does, and gets her on record.

And they set off across the country -- and it sounds incredible, but it was true.

They had a list of radio stations and they went in a car and stopped.

Every time they saw a radio tower, they stopped in, which you could do back then.

LYNN: I went to every radio station one way.

We went back to Washington another way.

And that way, I swept one side of the country and the other side.

But I'd go in the radio station.

I'd sit there till they played my record.

Sometimes, I had to sit there three or four hours.

OERMANN: She'd talk them into playing the record, and it worked.

It brought them to Nashville.

LYNN: ♪ And now I'm a honky tonk girl ♪ ♪♪ ANDERSEN: I was down there at Tree Publishing Company, where I was writing songs.

And the Wilburn Brothers had an office right across the hall.

And now, whether this was the day she met the Wilburn Brothers or whatever, I really don't know, but she and her husband were standing in the atrium there in this building, and she had on this little homemade-looking cowgirl outfit.

Totally out of place.

She had the hat kind of back, had the little rope or string or strap, whatever, under -- and had the hat back behind her like that, and this little cowgirl dress on.

Best as I remember, she had on boots. I think she had on boots.

And they were just kind of standing there.

This was a little white outfit with maybe some red in it.

And the people coming in and out of the publishing company were, 'Who is that out there?

What is that girl -- Does she think this is a rodeo?

What's going on here?' You know?

Finally somebody came in and said, 'She's a new singer in town, but she's never gonna make it because she sounds just exactly like Kitty Wells.'

WELLS: ♪ But if your love affair with her goes wrong ♪ ♪ And if you miss the love you left at home ♪ ♪ Come back and we'll tear out this tarnished page ♪ ♪ And we'll forget that woman half my age ♪ LYNN: I loved Kitty Wells.

And I used to try to sing just like her, and everybody'd come up to me and say, 'Loretty, you're singing just like Kitty Wells.

You're gonna have to quit.'' So I had to quit.

MAN: When did you realize you could sing like Loretta Lynn?

LYNN: I don't know that I do. [ Chuckles ] I just sing.

RUSSELL: This was a girl singer coming into town, singing with this voice like she came from the state of Kentucky -- accent, state of Kentucky -- with this Bakersfield, West Coast beat.

And so when it came on the radio, you know, there's that music -- the Beatles did it -- that you just take the dial and you just turn it up just that tad bit and you go, 'Oh, wow, this is something different. I've got to hear it.'

LYNN: Doyle and Teddy Wilburn, they were helping me.

And they'd just had them a big hit record, 'Uh-oh, Trouble's Back in Town.'

TOGETHER: ♪ Uh-oh, trouble's back in town ♪ MAN: Hello there, and welcome to another fun-filled half-hour of great country music on 'The Wilburn Brothers Show.'

LYNN: So, we all fell in love with each other.

And we travelled the country for a long time.

ANDERSON: We ended up on a lot of shows together.

Now, this was in the day before either one of us had a band.

We would just go out and use whatever band was available.

The kids today have no more understanding or idea of the way we did it back then or what we went through.

They come to town today, they get a bus, they get a band, they get a sponsor, they get somebody footing all the bills and everything.

But we didn't have anything like that.

I mean, we scrapped and scratched and clawed for everything we got.

So Loretta and I were out, along with other artists, you know, and working with whatever kind of a pick-up band we could find hoping somebody liked what we were trying to do.

NELSON: You know, we didn't run into each other immediately, but from what I've heard since then, we hit town about the same time.

MAN: What was it like then?

NELSON: Well, for a guy like me, you know, a songwriter from Texas, it was a challenge, but it was also the place that I had always been told is where to go if you got a song, you know?

And Nashville was the place to get it recorded.

So, I had some successes through the years, and so did Loretta.

She's done wonderful.

MAN: When did you first meet her?

NELSON: Yeah, we ran into each other at the Opry a couple times.

And, you know, got to say hello and know each other.

She was a great songwriter, and I got to record with her a couple of times.

♪♪ LYNN: ♪ From the Johnson County Coal Camps to the hills of West Virginia ♪ ♪ My daddy worked down in the dark coal mines ♪ ♪ Education didn't count so much as what you had born in you ♪ ♪ Like the will to live and a dream of better times ♪ ♪ Daddy never took a handout, we ate pinto beans and bacon ♪ ♪ But he worked to keep the wolf back from the door ♪ ♪ And it only proves one thing to me when folks start bellyachin' ♪ ♪ They don't make 'em like my daddy anymore ♪ ♪ They don't make them like my daddy anymore ♪ ANNOUNCER: Becoming a top Opry star wasn't easy.

There was plenty of competition, and it took a lot of hard work and determination in addition to talent.

Ernest Tubb remembers his own climb to the top and the people who helped him along the way.

TUBB: Well, hi there, and welcome to the Ernest Tubb Record Shop.

I've talked with many country-music fans right here over this counter throughout the past 20 years that we have had the Ernest Tubb Music Shop, and many of them ask me... OERMANN: Second to the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio show is the 'Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree,' which occurs at midnight after the Opry goes off the air on WSM, on the same radio station.

And many stars, Elvis Presley included, got their break by performing on the 'Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree.'

It's the first stop, you know.

When you've got your record out, you're a brand-new artist, the 'Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree' is where you went.

LYNN: I went and begged Ernest Tubb to put me on.

And he did. He listened to my record, and he said, 'That little girl can sing.'

And he put me on the record shop.

I'm sure that he probably helped me get on the Grand Ole Opry, too.

I remember this place so well.

This is the first place I ever sung, you know?

McCORMICK: Yes, uh-huh, yeah.

Your albums are all up on the top row.

I put them up as numerical order, as they came out.

LYNN: Yeah.

McCORMICK: All right.

I don't know if you remember this or not, but you would be hosting the 'Midnite Jamboree' and they'd be hollering at the back of the store, -'We can't see her!' -LYNN: I know it.

McCORMICK: I taped those Coke crates up.

you pulled your shoes off and did the 'Midnite Jamboree' -that way. -LYNN: That's right.

-McCORMICK: You remember that? -LYNN: Yeah, I do.

This is where it started, right here at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop.

I got up here and played my guitar and sung 'Honky Tonk Girl.'

And I sung 'I Fall to Pieces' for Patsy.

OERMANN: And Loretta's first gig at the 'Midnite Jamboree,' is heard by Patsy Cline.

She's listening on the radio.

She's in her hospital bed, recovering from the car wreck, and that leads to the friendship between Loretta and Patsy, is the gig at the 'Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree.'

LYNN: And I sung 'I Fall to Pieces' -- and that was her hit at that time -- and said, 'I'm going to dedicate this to Patsy.

She's in hospital.'

And then I met her.

She sent Charlie to get me to bring me to the hospital.

DICK: I didn't know who Loretta was.

And she said, 'Go down and find this girl and tell her I want to see her.'

And so I had to go down -- 'Who's Loretta Lynn?'

You know, I didn't know who she was.

But I went down there and found her and told her.

And she said she would come out the next day.

When I told her, Patsy wanted to see her, she grabbed me and hugged me around the neck.

So they came out to the hospital the next day and visited with Patsy, and then we stayed friends after that.

Patsy helped her with her stage presence and then how to act on stage and be a little more forward.

Loretta was kind of bashful and laid-back.

LYNN: Hello. How are you, Tommy?

CUTRER: She asked me a few minutes ago, says, 'Reckon I'll ever get over being nervous on these things.' [ Chuckles ] Loretta, tell us a little something about yourself, if you will.

Where were you performing before you came to the Opry?

LYNN: I had a little band of my own up in the state of Washington, little place called Blaine, Washington.

And we played there six nights a week.

And my brother played lead guitar.

And about six months ago, we moved back here.

CUTRER: Well, we're awful tickled pink to have you with us.

And we know the folks out there, watching, are awful glad to have you, too, and looking forward to hearing you do us a number.

What's gonna be the first number you'll do for us?

LYNN: I think I'll do one called 'The Girl That I Am Now.'

This is on the back of the record I had out called 'I Walked Away From the Wreck.'

CUTRER: All right. Loretta Lynn.

♪♪ LYNN: [ Humming ] ♪ Oh, could he love the girl that I am now? ♪ OERMANN: And she gets on the Grand Ole Opry and Patsy Cline takes her under her wing and teaches her how to walk in high heels and how to wear makeup and how to fix her hair and all that stuff.

LYNN: She's given me a lot of clothes.

That might have been what she was trying to tell me -- dress better.

But I wore a pair of panties that she gave me for four years and I don't know how long she had them, But I never did wear these panties out.

I finally just kept them.

There ain't no way to wear them out.

COBB: When I was blessed to take over and build her new museum for her, I was amazed that she had Patsy Cline's underwear on display in her previous one-room museum.

And... she would probably have me to put them out now.

As you can see, Loretta Lynn keeps everything.

She was a hoarder before they even had a television show about it.

You know, she just grew up in Butcher Holler.

And so you don't get rid of things because you didn't have it.

But thank God she kept it all.

And yes, those famous panties are in here, but they're just not on display.

Patsy Cline is the one that got Loretta into wearing the long gowns.

Patsy was the inspiration.

ANNOUNCER: Most would-be stars arrive in Nashville, long on ambition and short on knowledge of the music business.

So, many make their first stop a well-known country-music tavern, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.

Here, located near the Opry house, Tootsie's has been a mixing place for songwriters, musicians, and fans for more than 10 years.

NELSON: I sang at the Grand Ole Opry, which was right next door to Toosie's, right behind the Ryman Auditorium.

Everybody would come into Tootsie's after the show or between shows or whatever and sit around, listen to the jukebox and drink a beer and listen to country music.

But that's where I met Charlie Dick, who was the husband of Patsy Cline.

And I had just written a song called 'Crazy,' and he wanted Patsy to hear it.

So, we were in Tootsie's one night and he said, 'Let's go let Patsy hear this song.'

I said, 'No, no. It's midnight, it's late, and we're drinking.'

He said, 'Come on.'

But Patsy made me get out of the car and come in, and she recorded the song the next week.

♪♪ TAYLA: ♪ ...and now I'm a Honky Tonk Girl ♪ ♪ Yeah [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] Hey, y'all. My name is Tayla Lynn, and we're -- whoo! -- so excited to be here, finally playing at Toosie's.

My grandmother played across the alleyway there for a long time, Miss Loretta Lynn.

[ Cheers and applause ] So my dad and aunts and all of them grew up in here.

That says a lot about our family.

We're going to do some of her songs.

We're gonna start off with 'You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man.'

♪ You come to tell me something ♪ ♪ You say I ought to know ♪ That he don't love me anymore ♪ ♪ And I have to let him go ♪ You say you're gonna take him ♪ ♪ Oh, but I don't think you can ♪ ♪ 'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ RUSSELL: The first time I can remember being at Tootsie's, I was probably around 4 -- 4 or 5 years old.

I remember coming here with my twin sister, Peggy, and my dad, he would walk us over and he would set us up on the bar, one on each side, and Ms. Tootsie would hand us a piece of gum apiece.

And we would sit here with Dentyne -- That was the gum.

Each of us would have a piece of gum while my dad would sit here and he would talk.

My dad would do a lot of drinking here at Tootsie's.

TAYLA: ♪ buy 'em anywhere... ♪ For you to get to him, I'd have to move over ♪ ♪ And I'm gonna stand right here ♪ In 1996, my twin sister, Peggy, and I, we decided we wanted to give it a shot at a singing career, as well.

And we were the house band here every Thursday night, and we were called The Honkabillies.

They say if the Ryman Auditorium is the Mother Church of country music, then Tootsie's has to be the Mother Honky Tonk of all times.

We always would laugh and say, 'Mom would do the Opry on Saturday nights, and Dad would come over and play Tootsie's on Saturday night.'

But my dad didn't sing.

His job was to inspire the songs that she would sing and write.

And those bottles would have... a lot to do with them.

TAYLA: ♪ Then don't come home a-drinkin' ♪ ♪ with lovin' on your mind RUSSELL: My mom, my aunt Crystal Gayle, my aunt Peggy Sue, my uncle Jay Lee.

Just in that family of eight children, four of them had songs on the charts and record deals.

In my mom's family, my brother Ernest Ray, my sister Cissy, Peggy and I, all had record deals.

MAN: And what about your grandchildren?

We talked to Emmy Rose yesterday.

LYNN: Emmy is my angel.

If she wants to, she can be anything she wants to be, 'cause she's a great singer, and she writes like she's 40 years old and has been since she was 10 years old.

MAN: The Coal Miner is Loretta's dad.

EMMY ROSE: Mm-hmm.

MAN: So she's the coal miner's daughter.

-EMMY ROSE: Mm-hmm. -MAN: So you're the coal miner's daughter's daughter's daughter.

EMMY ROSE: That's actually in my song.

MAN: Oh, do it.

EMMY ROSE: You mean to do my song? The whole song?

-MAN: No, do the bit with the -- -EMMY ROSE: It's like... ♪ From the hands of a girl from Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ To the hands of a coal miner's great-granddaughter ♪ See? It's great-granddaughter.

OERMANN: And the Wilburn Brothers, who signed her to their song-publishing company, used her to sing what are called demos.

These are recordings that are made so that the song can be pitched to a star, to a big star.

And she recorded a song for the Wilburn Brothers to be pitched to Brenda Lee, called 'Fool Number One.'

And Owen Bradley, who was Brenda's producer, loved the song for Brenda, and the Wilburn Brothers famously said, 'You can't take the song, unless you sign up the singer.'

And that was Loretta.

And that's how Loretta got a recording contract.

LYNN: Owen Bradley recorded me.

And he's one of the greatest producers in Nashville, Tennessee.

He did Kitty Wells. He done Patsy Cline.

Oh, yeah. Him and Patsy were big buddies.

When I come to Nashville, they were big buddies.

OERMANN: And Owen then took Loretta into the studio and found this gold mine of songwriting.

And Owen, when he was alive, he always said to me, 'I thought she was the female Hank Williams.'

Which I thought was a really powerful statement 'cause there's nobody better. I mean, that's it.

That is the ne plus ultra of country singer/songwriters.

And so Owen produces her singing these songs that she wrote, and the people responded.

The people heard themselves in her songs.

And that's... how you make a country star.

♪♪ LYNN: All right there, Johnny Cash.

[ Chuckles ] ♪ You come to tell me something you say I ought to know ♪ ♪ That he don't love me anymore and I'll have to let him go ♪ ♪ You say you gon-- ♪ Oh, but I don't think you can ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ 'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ ♪ Women like you, they're a dime a dozen ♪ ♪ You can buy 'em anywhere ♪ For you to get to him, I'd have to move over ♪ ♪ And I'm gonna stand right here ♪ ♪ It'll be over my dead body, so get out while you can ♪ ♪ 'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪♪ LYNN: ♪ Well, you thought that I'd be waitin' up ♪ ♪ When you came home last night ♪ ♪ You'd been out with all the boys ♪ ♪ And you ended up half tight ♪ But liquor and love just don't mix ♪ ♪ Leave the bottle or me behind ♪ ♪ And don't come home a-drinkin' with lovin' on your mind ♪ ♪ No, don't come home a-drinkin' with lovin' on your mind ♪ ERNEST RAY: 'Don't Come Home a Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind.'

Mama wrote that about Dad.

'You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man,' 'Your Squaw Is on the Warpath.'

All them #1 songs that Mama wrote was about Dad.

And Mama stayed mad at him all the time.

I said, 'I don't know why you stay mad at him.

He made us millions of dollars.' I said, 'If it wasn't for him, you wouldn't ever wrote them damn songs.'

LYNN: I wrote every song that I've ever wrote about him.

[ Chuckles ] No, he gave me a lot of opportunities.

RUSSELL: My mom and dad had many big fights that have gone down on record through songs and stuff.

But this room was a huge problem because my mom saw this whole Southwestern kind of Indian art and the Native American look.

And my dad wanted that masculine den with his cowboy things and his guns.

They ended up compromising. But I don't know.

I guess probably the Native Americans won in this room.

[ Chuckles ] LYNN: Mm-hmm. Mommy had Cherokee.

Her daddy was full-blooded Cherokee.

I told Mommy one day, I said, 'I don't like Grandpa, and Grandpa don't like me.'

She said, 'Why?'

I said, 'When he sits in a chair and reads, I'll sit right down under him and I keep talking about him and all he'll do is 'Mm,' grunt.'

And I said, 'That's all Grandpa does.'

And Mommy said, 'Well, honey, he's Cherokee.

Don't pay any attention to that. He thinks he' talking to you.'

♪♪ ♪ Well, your pet name for me is Squaw ♪ ♪ When you come home a-drinkin' and can barely crawl ♪ ♪ And all that lovin' on me won't make things right ♪ ♪ Well, you leave me at home to keep the teepee clean ♪ ♪ Six papooses to break and when wean ♪ ♪ Well, your squaw is on the warpath tonight ♪ ♪ Well, I've found out, a big brave chief ♪ ♪ The game you're a-huntin' for ain't beef ♪ ♪ Get off of my huntin' grounds and get out of my sight ♪ ♪ This war dance I'm doin' means I'm fightin' mad ♪ ♪ You don't need no more of what you've already had ♪ ♪ Your squaw is on the warpath tonight ♪ CROW: A lot of those songs from back then they were quintessential country songs in that they were about hard-living men and women who kept the home fires burning and weren't going to put up with no cheating.

And, you know, that was... I'm a little sad that we're so kind of...cosmopolitan now that we don't write about relationships in that way.

But that was the nuts and bolts of country -- drinking songs and cheating songs, and she was a spitfire.

♪♪ [ Laughter ] LYNN: ♪ Every time I hear the one about your cheatin' heart, it sure hits home ♪ ♪ The radio sure tells it like it is every time I turn it on ♪ ♪ Some woman's always hangin' on while waitin' for a man who's hangin' out ♪ ♪ It's not hard to realize who this country singer sings about ♪ ♪ It's lyin' cheatin' woman chasin' honky tonkin' whiskey drinkin' you ♪ ♪ Doo ♪ Somebody must be takin' notes while watchin' all the lowdown things you do ♪ ♪ Who's the sorry so and so responsible for what I'm goin' through? ♪ ♪ It's lyin' cheatin' woman chasin' honky tonkin' whiskey drinkin' you ♪ ♪ It's lyin' cheatin' woman chasin' honky tonkin' whiskey drinkin' you ♪ ♪♪ That's my Doo.

[ Cheers and applause ] MAN: Why are so many country songs about cheating?

McENTIRE: There's a lot of cheating going on.

You know, it's like Loretta said, the way she deals with things that bother her, she writes about it.

And a good country song is a song that people can relate to, and if it's a cheating song, well, there's people out there that can relate to that.

So it becomes a very popular song.

LYNN: If you write about what's happening, it don't hurt as bad.

It don't bother you as much.

And that's how it does me.

I don't know how anybody else does it, but that's the way I do it.

I need to write.

LAMBERT: Loretta always just said exactly what she was going through right then in her music.

And that's why it resonates with us, because we are hearing her story as it's playing out, and I feel like that's the only way to go, you know, is to tell your story, your real story -- good, bad, ugly, all of it.

ERNEST RAY: A good story.

We couldn't eat till Dad come home.

And we had to be in bed at 9:00 on a school night.

So... There wasn't microwaves and stuff back then.

7:00 -- no Dad. 8:00 -- no Dad.

Mama kept putting the food back in.

Finally 9:00, he comes in just bleep faced.

Mama always had a big, old yellow bean bowl.

You know, beans and ham hock, and she'd cook chicken and stuff.

Well -- Did y'all go in the big house?

All right, where the old kitchen is in there, that big table and them big sliding windows and doors.

He comes in, and Mama gets all us up.

Boy, she's running around there, waiting on all the kids.

And the food went one way and come around.

What you put on your plate, you had to eat it.

Mama made Dad's plate, and as quick as she made it, he just fell over in it.

She was so mad 'cause she'd been cooking.

And she took that bowl of hot beans, just poured it on his head.

Well, we all scattered because we know the bleep hit the fan.

He don't even wake up.

So the girls go on upstairs and go to bed, and me and Jack, we're over by the fireplace, waiting.

And about 11:00, 11:30, here he comes to.

That bowl of beans has done dried on his head, they're in his ears, his eyeballs.

He took that bowl and 'throwed' it through that double-sliding window, busted it all out.

Took a chair and throwed it through the other window.

And he was wrestling that big, old table and he couldn't get her done, you know.

He couldn't get it lifted up to get it gone.

And he's chasing us around the fireplace, them beans and stuff is all in his ears and head.

♪♪ LYNN: ♪ While I'm at home a-workin' and a slavin' this way ♪ ♪ You're out of misbehavin', spendin' all of your pay ♪ ♪ On wine, women, and song SPACEK: She has never been afraid to speak her mind.

You know, she... Say what you will, but she's a feminist.

She was when... And she made it okay for other women to go, 'Yeah!'

[ Laughs ] I don't know, but that's the way movements start.

CROW: She wrote about what it was like to be a woman who was making the transition from barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen to a working woman and meeting some of these very current-of-the-time topics head on and giving voice to all these women.

And I definitely couldn't be doing what I'm doing unless she had broken down those barriers and had been a songwriter for all of us.

♪♪ LYNN: ♪ You wined me and dined me when I was your girl ♪ ♪ Promised if I'd be your wife, you'd show me the world ♪ ♪ All I've seen of this old world is a bed and a doctor bill ♪ ♪ I'm tearin' down your brooder house 'cause now I've got the pill ♪ ♪ This old maternity dress I've got is going in the garbage ♪ ♪ The clothes I'm wearing from now on ♪ ♪ Won't take up so much yardage ♪ ♪ Miniskirts, hot pants, and a few little fancy frills ♪ ♪ Yeah, I'm making up for all those years ♪ ♪ Since I've got the pill 'The Pill' was banned.

But when it hit the charts, they had to take it out of being banned and play it, you know.

Everybody had to play it when it was on the charts.

WEBB: She was working quite a few days back then.

We was on the road quite a bit.

Was doing 500, 600, 700 miles every night.

So we travelled all night.

I mean, she was doing about 200 concerts a year.

We was all over the Midwest.

I think we went to California that first year I was with her.

We went from border to border, coast to coast, Canada, everything.

20-something years. Covered some miles.

Probably 2 million, 2.5 million, maybe.

LYNN: ♪ Well I look out the window, and what do I see? ♪ ♪ The breeze is a-blowin' the leaves from the trees ♪ ♪ Everything is free ♪ Everything but me ♪ I'm gonna take this chain from around my finger ♪ ♪ And throw it just as far as I can sling 'er ♪ ♪ 'Cause I wanna be free ♪ When my baby left me, everything died ♪ ♪ But a little bluebird was singin' just outside ♪ ♪ Singin' twiddle-dee-dee ♪ Fly away with me ♪ Well, you know I think I'm a-gonna live ♪ ♪ Gotta lotta love left in me to give ♪ ♪ So I wanna be free ♪ I released my heart, my soul, and my mind ♪ ♪ And I'm a-feelin' fine ♪ I broke the chain, the ring of gold before it broke my mind ♪ ♪ Well, I look who's cryin', and it ain't me ♪ ♪ But I can't hardly hear, and I can't half see ♪ ♪ I wanna be free I was on the road like Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I'd get home probably Monday sometime.

And I'd spend Tuesday and Wednesday here and get ready to leave out on Thursday.

Sometimes if I worked clubs, I did two to three shows a night.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

I did it all weeklong if it was a club.

Two and three shows a night.

RUSSELL: She toured probably over 200 days a year.

And there would be months that we didn't get to see her.

I mean, can you imagine?

I have five kids, and it wasn't until I became a mother that I realized... ...what a sacrifice my mom made to make life better for us, you know?

It was a big sacrifice for a woman.

PEGGY: It was just always that way.

One of the startling things is that as a child, you don't even know, you know.

You don't realize this is the way it is.

We were just around Dad so much because Mom would be gone for a month, maybe a month and a half.

And, you know, children change and... Well, Mom would call us 'twin.'

And Mom swears that that's not true.

But Mom would have to have you turn around and look at her, and then she could tell you apart.

But when you're running to the bus or whatever, she would call us twin.

So we had no name.

'Come here, Twin.'

And, oh, that would just infuriate my sister and I.

'We ain't a twin. We ain't twins.'

And Dad would always cover for us, 'cause me and Patsy would smart off going, you know, 'Don't call us twin' kind of thing.

And Dad would, like, 'Yeah, don't talk to your mother like that.'

[ Laughs ] LYNN: Oh, yes, when the babies were little, it really tore me up, but what could I do?

I had to make a living, had to feed them, you know.

And we bought this place and we had to pay for it.

So I wasn't going to pay for it by not working.

♪♪ ♪ Like so many other hearts, mine wanted to be free ♪ ♪ I've been held here every day, since you've been away from me ♪ ♪ My reflection in the mirror, it's such a hurtful sight ♪ ♪ Oh, I miss being Mrs. tonight ♪ ERNEST RAY: I started on the road with Mama when I was 8.

I did my first album with Mom when I was 7.

It was called 'When I Hear My Children Pray.'

It was a gospel album. I did every album with Mom.

♪ Somehow I can be useful, so put me to the test ♪ ♪ I know I can't do very much, but, Lord, I'll do my best ♪ When I was 15, when I was a freshman in school, I was going on the summertime with her, and I just quit school and started all the time.

I knew how to count money, so hell, what was there left?

[ Chuckling ] You know?

I didn't care nothing about algebra and all that stuff.

Do you ever use algebra?

LYNN: Yes, proudly I watched and listened to all he tried to say.

And it makes my heart just burst with pride when I hear my children pray.

ERNEST RAY: ♪ But, Lord, I'll do my best Oh, I'll die when Mama dies.

We done talked about it.

They're gonna have to bury us in the same hole, 'cause we been together ever since I was born.

You know, we've always been together.

Something happens to her, they might as well bury me, too.

PATSY: One year, Mom came home for a couple of weeks.

In this kitchen.

They'd just built and added on this kitchen, and my mom was going to make dinner, which -- Patsy and I had never really seen her cook like this.

So she was going through the cabinets, and she's looking for a pot, something to cook in.

And a certain one.

And she -- All the drawers were pulled out here.

And she sits down in the middle of the floor, and she said, 'This is not my house. I don't live here.

I don't even know where my pots and pans are.'

And Patsy and I were so struck by this that we've got every drawer open, everything, going, 'We'll find it! We'll find it!'

But looking back on that, that was the moment that she realized that her home is not -- her home's on wheels.

LYNN: ♪ I miss being Mrs. tonight ♪ Oh, I miss being Mrs. tonight ♪ PATSY: But in five minutes, Mom can get up off that floor and start all over again.

She's very good at shaking it off.

And in this business, you have to have that sort of backbone to you.

WHITE: There's many musicians like that.

I mean, those are real road-dog, road-warrior people, and Loretta's definitely one of them.

You know, tour busses and hotel rooms -- And you can be very tempted to just find comfort in it because every night you're trying to find some kind of comfort in those spaces.

So it can be very tempting to just prefer that than to live in a real house.

ERNEST RAY: That's why him and Mama stayed married all them years -- they never lived together.

You know, we was gone a lot of years through the '70s, '80s.

We was gone 300 days a year.

When 'Coal Miner's Daughter' come out, we was gone for five years in a row.

I mean, we was gone.

We was in Vegas all the time and stuff. We was never home.

And that keeps for a marriage that time.

MAN: Now, was that hard on you?

-ERNEST RAY: No. -MAN: You liked the road?

ERNEST RAY: Well, yeah. I did when I was younger, you know.

I had a lot of ideas then. [ Laughs ] MAN: You get a lot of extra action, too, on the road.

-Oh, man, what you talking about? [ Laughs ] That's why I got six kids by six different women.

[ Laughs ] LYNN: ♪ You've been makin' your brags around town ♪ ♪ That you've been a-lovin' my man ♪ ♪ But the man I love, when he picks up trash ♪ ♪ He puts it in a garbage can ♪ And that's what you look like to me ♪ ♪ And what I see is a pity ♪ You'd better close your face and stay out of my way ♪ ♪ If you don't wanna go to Fist City ♪ Well, 'Fist City' I wrote about an old gal that was trying to take Doo away from me.

'You've been making your brags around town that you've been loving my man.

The man I love, when he picks up trash, he puts it in a garbage can.'

I didn't cover her one bit that was good.

Everything I wrote about her was bad.

♪ If you don't wanna go to Fist City ♪ ♪ You'd better detour around my town ♪ ♪ 'Cause I'll grab you by the hair of the head ♪ ♪ And lift you off of the ground ♪ ♪ I'm not a-sayin' my baby's a saint, 'cause he ain't ♪ ♪ And that he won't cat around with a kitty ♪ ♪ I'm here to tell you, gal, to lay off of my man ♪ ♪ If you don't wanna go to Fist City ♪ MAN: There's a lot of bad marriages, bad behavior, all that stuff in the singing and yet, it's, like, really fun with the country music.

NELSON: Have you ever been divorced?

It's no fun. No fun.

Yeah, it's hard to find anything funny and entertaining about it, but country music seems to.

[ Laughs ] You know, we all have gone through, you know, difficult things and times.

And if you can look back on it and laugh about it, joke about it, you're better off, I think.

You ever hear of a guy named Seneca?

He said, 'You should look upon death and comedy with the same countenance...' which makes a lot of sense.

LYNN: ♪ There's trouble in paradise ♪ I can see it, and I know the signs so well ♪ ♪ I know he's out there and around it every day ♪ PATSY: There was only one time in the '70s that I remember that Mom and Dad ever talked about a divorce.

And [clears throat] it was the most devastating thing in the world for my father, you know.

And for my mom, it just wasn't going to happen.

I mean, they could talk all they wanted to, you know, and it only lasted for a couple of weeks, that sort of behavior, and then it was, you know -- They took off and were gone for a month, you know, and come back with that flushed 'I love you' look.

So it's just what it was.

And growing up like that, you also learn people aren't disposable, you know?

You have to fight.

You have to fight for things that are important.

♪ Now I know about those devil women ♪ ♪ They'll set your lover's head to spinnin' ♪ ♪ And she's a demon, she wants control ♪ ♪ But she ain't takin' my man's soul ♪ ♪ She ain't takin' my mans soul ♪ SPACEK: In Loretta's early years, she just gave and gave and gave and gave and didn't know when to quit.

And she gave so much of herself, she made herself so available, she would stay for years and years and years and years and years, decades she stayed touring as much as she toured.

Hundreds of days a year, several shows a day.

She would stay hours after and sign autographs.

And so there was a time in her life where she had to take a step back because it was really hard on her health and well-being.

LYNN: I think people should be available to all the fans.

They're the ones making them a living.

Really.

If they only think about it, they're the ones that comes out and sees you at the show, they buy your record.

So, why wouldn't you be nice to them?

And what is that?

PATSY: ...can come inside.

[ Indistinct conversations ] I was telling them y'all could say hello to Miss Loretta Lynn.

Say, 'Hi, Loretta.'

LYNN: Hi there.

-MAN: Hi. -WOMAN: Hi, everybody.

-WOMAN #2: Hi. -MAN #2: Hello.

LYNN: How you-uns doing?

PATSY: They're all from Canada, Mom.

LYNN: Oh really?

Well, I'm blessed to have you all, I'll tell you.

PATSY: So, there's a tour bus, Mom.

This is half of the group -from the tour bus. -LYNN: It is crazy.

PATSY: Now we don't tour the upstairs.

We still keep the upstairs private because it's all of our bedrooms.

So we always say if we want to come home, it's kind of cool, because this house has never changed.

My mom and dad, when they moved out, they never took anything out of the house.

So it kind of sits frozen in time.

So when we come back here -- In fact, we were walking back in to get Mom's interview, and I said, 'Welcome home, Mother.'

[ Laughter ] CROWD: ♪ Well, I was born a coal miner's daughter ♪ ♪ In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ We were poor, but we had love ♪ ♪ That's the one thing my daddy made sure of ♪ ♪ He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar ♪ [ Indistinct talking, light laughter ] LYNN: Look over here and see me singing, honey.

You're doing good.

MAN: Yeah, but I can't sing and look at you at the same time.

[ Laughter ] WOMAN: ♪ I was born a coal miner's daughter ♪ ♪ In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ We were poor, but we had love ♪ ♪ That's the one thing my daddy made sure of ♪ LYNN: ♪ He shoveled coal to make a poor man's -- ♪ Now, don't cry. You were singing to me.

Go ahead.

WOMAN: Come on.

[ Indistinct conversations ] LYNN: Thank you, honey.

Hey, Patsy, wasn't she a good singer?

-PATSY: Uh-huh. -LYNN: Wasn't she a good singer?

-WOMAN: Thank you. -LYNN: Thank you.

Thank all you people.

ERNEST RAY: It was this house.

There was four houses on that hill, two houses here.

It was a slave plantation.

Nobody lived here in almost 30 years.

And it was 2,800 acres, 400 head of cattle, five or six tractors, everything.

COBB: When they bought the property, they didn't realize that a town came with it and a whole zip code and post office.

It grew from her fans finding out where she lived and started coming to see Loretta Lynn's house.

Not only were they coming to see Loretta Lynn's house, they were camping out on the side of the road.

And it just would get so congested then Mooney said, 'We're going to need to fix a place, a campground for them to be able to stay here.'

ERNEST RAY: I can't stand the Dude Ranch part.

Dad was just going to build a little campground for the fan club, where we had our fan-club meeting every year.

Yeah.

COBB: Then she would add more and more attractions.

They built a rodeo arena, and then they built an entertainment pavilion.

It's not one of the fancy theaters, but she don't want that here.

And it's still that down-home, almost tent-revival, family show kind of a feeling.

Come as you are and stay as long as you want and just be yourself and have fun.

And that's the way she likes it.

ERNEST RAY: Now we got Grand National Motocross, cross country races.

There's over a million people a year come through here.

PATSY: They had something they wanted to work towards together, and they were the quintessential great partnership.

Because Dad did this very well; Mom did this very well.

But when they came into each other's worlds, trying to... Mom trying to play the farm wife, you know, kind of thing.

She didn't fit into that.

Dad on the other hand, when he went out on the road with her, he hated it because that was something that he couldn't identify with and he couldn't be in control of.

And so Hurricane Mills became the project that both of them could come together on and have a really strong partnership because they needed each other to make the whole.

They are two people that needed each other to make a legacy.

ANNOUNCER: Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.

[ Applause ] ♪♪ TWITTY: ♪ Hey, Louisiana woman LYNN: ♪ Mississippi man TOGETHER: ♪ We get together every time we can ♪ ♪ The Mississippi River can't keep us apart ♪ TWITTY: ♪ There's too much love in this Mississippi heart ♪ LYNN: ♪ Too much love in this Louisiana heart ♪ Doolittle found our first song that we recorded together, 'Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.'

Doolittle found that while we were on tour, yeah.

We come in, and he had that going.

He said, 'I found you-uns a hit song.'

And Conway said, 'I believe you have.'

He looked at me, and I said, 'I think it is a hit.'

We cut it, and it was a hit.

TWITTY: ♪ Hey, Louisiana woman LYNN: ♪ Mississippi man TOGETHER: ♪ We get together every time we can ♪ ♪ The Mississippi River can't keep us apart ♪ TWITTY: ♪ There's too much love in this Mississippi heart ♪ LYNN: ♪ Too much love in this Louisiana heart ♪ BROOKS: When these two voices hit, it creates this dimension that you can't get singular -- one without the other.

YEARWOOD: And that's why I've always enjoyed singing with Garth, you know, for the last 25 years, is that there's an energy there that's created together that isn't separate.

It isn't taking anything away from the singular artist, but it's just something different.

There's an energy there.

I think that's why everybody thought Loretta and Conway were married, you know, or at least having an affair, you know, because it was such a connection, and it just worked.

You know, hit after hit after hit.

LYNN: Everybody thought me and Conway had a thing going, you know.

And that's the farthest from the truth.

I loved Conway as a friend, and my husband loved him.

Conway was really the only one in the music business that Doo gave a daggone for.

-MAN: Really? -LYNN: Yeah.

You'd hear him out, they'd be talking.

You'd hear Conway just, 'Ha ha ha.'

And I'd wonder, 'What the heck is he laughing about?'

And Doo would be telling him big jokes.

Most of them lies. [ Laughs ] But he had him laughing all the time.

TOGETHER: ♪ Love is where you find it ♪ When you find no love at home ♪ ♪ And there's nothin' cold as ashes ♪ ♪ After the fire is gone BROOKS: When Conway and Loretta, that ♪ Do-do-do ♪ Love is where you find it And when they're sitting there, just doing those same waves and everything together, same way with Wynette-Jones, that's -- All of a sudden, man, it just crawls all over you.

And that's something I think you can't get from one of them just doing it by themselves.

YEARWOOD: ♪ Love is where you find it TOGETHER: ♪ When you find no love at home ♪ ♪ And there's nothing cold as ashes ♪ ♪ After the fire is gone -YEARWOOD: Something like that. -BROOKS: Yeah.

YEARWOOD: [ Chuckles ] TWITTY: ♪ I made a promise that I'd never lead you on ♪ ♪ But I feel the yearn to love you even though I know it's wrong ♪ OERMANN: Oh, you should have been at the shows.

The women went crazy. They loved Conway.

[ As Conway Twitty ] 'Hello, darling.'

[ Normal voice ] It was the voice, you know.

LYNN: ♪ If you want me, I'll go with you ♪ ♪ But you'll have to lead me on ♪ [ Song ends, applause ] CARSON: She's written her autobiography -- most interesting -- called 'Coal Miner's Daughter.'

It's a great pleasure to have her here.

Would you welcome, please, Loretta Lynn?

I was reading your book this afternoon.

-LYNN: Oh, man. -CARSON: No, it's a good book.

-LYNN: Well, thank you. -CARSON: Yeah.

But I didn't realize that you're a mother of six children.

-LYNN: Oh, yes. -CARSON: Yeah.

And started early. You're from where, originally, now?

-LYNN: Kentucky. -CARSON: Kentucky.

LYNN: Yeah, I started real, real early.

CARSON: I mean early.

LYNN: Real early. I had four when I was 17.

[ Murmuring ] CARSON: That's 'starting early.'

LYNN: It wasn't easy. [ Chuckles ] I've got little twins now.

-So that makes me have six. -CARSON: [ Whistles ] LYNN: And when they started coming in pairs... [ Light laughter ] ...I had my ol' man go get something done.

[ Laughter ] And since he got something done -- See, I was afraid they was gonna start coming in litters.

[ Laughter ] Didn't want that to happen.

OERMANN: She charms Johnny Carson and all these sophisticates, you know, because she's funny and she's smart and she's, you know, and she's -- she's Loretta!

And she just becomes the darling of the talk-show circuit.

And because she's such an outspoken women, and and all the big women's magazines all feature her and she becomes this cultural force, this outspoken...plain-spoken, telling-it-like-it-is gal that the media just goes nuts for.

MAN: She's performed countless hit songs over the years, and she's done over 150 concerts a year for the half-decade.

Hollywood could think of no better tribute than to make a movie about her life.

Would you give a big singing welcome to Loretta Lynn?

[ Cheers and applause ] What's the movie going to be called? 'Coal Miner's Daughter.'

-LYNN: 'Coal Miner's Daughter.' -MAN: Yeah?

And that's gonna star Sissy Spacek?

LYNN: Right.

SPACEK: It was before I had agreed to do the film, you know.

I had never met her, and she was probably the most popular guest on the 'Tonight Show' for many years.

She was on at least once a month, maybe...maybe twice a month/ But she really did the television circuit a lot.

And she would go on and say, 'Yeah, little Sissy Spacek, she's gonna play me.'

And I'd be watching, and I'm thinking -- At that point, I thought, I had this bizarre idea that I made my own decisions.

Well, that was before I met Loretta.

I've never seen this. This is great.

-LYNN: You've never seen this? -SPACEK: Mnh-mnh.

LYNN: There you are, Sissy. 'Coal Miner's Daughter.'

And I bet you're singing 'Coal Miner's Daughter' right there.

SPACEK: Yeah, that was the dress.

LYNN: Here's Levon Helm. This is the one who played my daddy.

That bothered me so bad, when I -- You know, I couldn't sit down beside him and talk or -- 'Cause he'd call me Loretty, and that reminded me of Daddy so much that it was hard for me to talk to him. Loretty.

WEBB: ...can't get a smile out of old sourpuss here.

LYNN: The 'Grand Ole Opry' would start on Saturday night.

Bill Monroe would start playing, and Mommy would hit the floor and start dancing.

♪♪ Mommy would dance and Daddy would sing.

SPACEK: I love this picture. Love, love, love, love, love.

'Cause look at us.

There's something in our eyes that all... LYNN: Captured at one time.

SPACEK: ...alike. We look like a family.

LYNN: Yeah, and that's what you're supposed to have been.

SPACEK: Yeah. [ Chuckles ] Whoa.

LYNN: Was that the script of 'Coal Miner's Daughter'? SPACEK: That's the script.

October 27, 1978.

LYNN: Oh, my gosh.

SPACEK: This is a treasure.

This is like waltzing down Memory Lane.

LYNN: Yeah, it is.

SPACEK: 'Oh, a sow, which is a woman.'

'Doolittle, who's that sow wallowing in your jeep?'

LYNN: Oh, God, I remember that spot, too.

SPACEK: [ Laughs ] That was quite a scene.

LYNN: You remember it?

WOMAN: Hey, Doolittle! How are you?

SPACEK: Yeah. Oh, my God.

I know I remember I got a stick, went after her.

DOOLITTLE: What about you?

LYNN: Hey, Doolittle Lynn.

Who's that sow wallowing in your jeep?

-WOMAN: What'd you call me? -LYNN: A sow!

It's a woman pig!

[ Laughter ] Well, there's Doolittle.

-SPACEK: Looking very spiffy. -LYNN: He's drunk there.

[ Laughter ] No, he's not, I don't think.

SPACEK: Was that -- LYNN: That was at the party after the show.

Doo's not feeling any pain there, I guarantee you.

When he gets on the microphone, you know he ain't feeling no pain.

SPACEK: 'Hollywood bets $8.5 million on her remarkable life story.'

And that was a square deal.

LYNN: Yep.

SPACEK: Oh look.

The Ryman. Look at that.

You remember who pushed me out on the stage?

-LYNN: Uh-huh. Doolittle. -SPACEK: Yeah.

Life imitating art.

♪♪ ♪ Sometimes a man's caught lookin' at things that he don't need ♪ ♪ He took a second look at you, but he's in love with me ♪ ♪ Well, I don't know where that leaves you, -oh, but I know where I stand ♪ -LYNN: Sing it, Sissy.

SPACEK: ♪ 'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ Women like you, they're a dime a dozen ♪ ♪ You can buy 'em anywhere ♪ For you to get to him, I'd have to move over ♪ ♪ And I'm gonna stand right here ♪ ♪ It'll be over my dead body, so get out while you can ♪ ♪ 'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ ♪ No, you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] SPACEK: I remember one day you said we were twins in another life.

LYNN: Probably were.

SPACEK: I wonder if we'll ever know.

LYNN: Yeah, we'll know one day.

-SPACEK: I love you. -LYNN: I love you too, honey.

She's my sister.

APTED: The 'Coal Miner's Daughter' was a cultural event, as it were.

You know, there was an attitude there from kind of the coastal directors from Los Angeles or New York, a certain arrogance towards the subject matter.

This was poor people, not very interesting people.

They did do good music, but the roots of the music weren't that interesting.

There hadn't been a really successful, popular/serious film about country music, and this was it.

[ Applause ] CASH: Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thanks, Emmylou.

This year, the Country Music Hall of Fame honors one of most admired women of our time.

And because her music comes from the heart, she touched our very deepest, most personal emotions, and became an inspiration for millions.

She was born a coal miner's daughter, but she has become a country-music legend.

Miss Loretta Lynn!

LYNN: ♪ Well, I was born the coal miner's daughter ♪ ♪ In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ We were poor, but we had love ♪ ♪ That's the one thing that Daddy made sure of ♪ ♪ He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar ♪ [ Applause ] -JOHN CARTER: Hi, Loretta. -LYNN: Hi!

[ Both chuckle ] JOHN CARTER: I'm so glad to see you.

LYNN: This is my baby, here.

JOHN CARTER: My mother's family and your family -- LYNN: And my family come from the same place.

Me and June Carter had to be close as sisters, but neither one of us knew that.

JOHN CARTER: Right across the mountains from each other, like 45 miles, as the crow flies.

LYNN: Yeah, just over the hill.

JOHN CARTER: We've had a lot of fun in the past little bit.

We've recorded a lot of music together.

LYNN: Me and him's cut about 90 songs in the last year or so.

JOHN CARTER: Yep, been working in the studio for a while.

-So, we recorded about 25 songs. -LYNN: Yeah, we did.

JOHN CARTER: Appalachian, just real, pure acoustic instrumentation.

LYNN: Right.

♪♪ ♪ I never will marry nor be no man's wife ♪ ♪ I expect to live single all the days of my life ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ The shells in the ocean will be my deathbed ♪ LYNN: ♪ The fish in the water swim over my head ♪ ♪ I never will marry nor be no man's wife ♪ ♪ I expect to live single all the days of my life ♪♪ [ Applause ] TOGETHER: ♪ Will the circle be unbroken?'

♪ Bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye ♪ ♪ There's a better home awaiting ♪ ♪ In the sky, Lord, in the sky JOHN CARTER: Everybody sing it with me.

ALL: ♪ Will the circle be unbroken?

♪ Bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye ♪ ♪ There's a better home awaiting ♪ ♪ In the sky, Lord, in the sky ♪♪ [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] ♪ Well, I was born a coal miner's daughter ♪ [ Speaks indistinctly ] ♪ In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ We were poor, but we had love ♪ ♪ That's the one thing that Daddy made sure of ♪ ♪ He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar ♪ ♪ Yeah, I'm proud to be a coal miner's daughter ♪ ♪ I remember well the well where I drew water ♪ ♪ The work we done was hard ♪ At night, we'd sleep 'cause we were tired ♪ ♪ Never thought of ever leavin' Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ Well, a lot of things have changed since a way back then ♪ [ Dog barks ] ♪ And it's so good to be back home again ♪ ♪ Not much left but the floor ♪ Nothing lives here anymore ♪ Just the memories of a coal miner's daughter ♪ [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] We did it, John.

-JOHN CARTER: I love you. -LYNN: I love you, too.

RUSSELL: The family has never really left Butcher Holler.

We brought Butcher Holler with us.

It is born in us here.

We just created our own Butcher Holler 60 miles west of Nashville, Tennessee.

Hurricane Mills, 37078.

OERMANN: She reconstructed the building where she was born and grew up here on her property for the tourists to enjoy.

'Look, I'm you,' you know.

'And I want to share this with you' kind of thing.

And I think that's really neat.

MAN: How about the coal mine?

OERMANN: And the coal mine, right.

Yeah, again, this idea of working-class pride, of, you know, 'My daddy was a coal miner, and I'm proud of it.

And here. Here's an experience of it that those of who are visiting from Germany or wherever -- ' And they do come there from all over the world.

They get this vivid slice of Americana by going to Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch.

RUSSELL: I don't want to use the word 'redneck' or 'hillbilly'... ...but I'm kind of proud to be both of those things.

My parents brought those to us because both of them have those same qualities.

But it's real, okay?

There's nothing fake, there's nothing phony, We don't care about... how people perceive us.

We're all really hard workers.

ERNEST RAY: Oh, yeah. Back when we had the plow and stuff, all this was corn.

That's corn this year and soybeans.

Me and my brother, we plowed.

We'd work six hour at night, and we'd get up and go to school.

We'd work till midnight every night plowing and stuff.

We worked just like everybody else had to because, he'd tell you, 'If you don't want to work, that's fine.

Where your plate used to sit, there will be a hole in the table.'

If you didn't want to work, you don't eat.

RUSSELL: My brother works here on the farm, works on tract-- I mean, we're all mechanics, we're all cooks, we're all good mothers, we all know how to sew.

Plus, you know, we just happen to have enough money to where we can do things we want to do if we want to do them, you know.

It is -- It's just -- We can go have dinner at the White House, and we have, and then come back here and ride tractors and four-wheelers and, you know, go mud-bogging, you know.

Isn't it great?

BROOKS Oh. We're sitting there at a dinner table at the White House.

They're putting down the plates, and they're talking about the little White House insignia on it.

She comes back from the bathroom -- Her daughters cannot keep her shoes on her, right?

And she's in the White House.

YEARWOOD: In a full ball gown. There's glitter everywhere.

[ Laughs ] BROOKS: She sits down right next to me.

And there's this young boy.

He looked like he's 12, rosy cheeks, got this little tie.

And he's serving these biscuits.

-Remember these little biscuits? -YEARWOOD: I do.

BROOKS: And he gets to the right side of Miss Lynn, and she uses the tie like a doorbell.

And she just pulls him down.

YEARWOOD: [ Chuckles ] BROOKS: And she goes, 'What is that?'

He goes, 'Uh, that's a -- that's a flat biscuit, Miss Lynn.'

Swear -- She goes, 'You tell those people in the back if they add a little self-rising flour, that thing will pop right up.'

YEARWOOD: [ Laughs ] BROOKS: No kidding.

The guy, sweet as he could be, 'I will tell them, Miss Lynn.'

He was fantastic.

YEARWOOD: And it was probably some kind of gourmet scone.

I don't even know what it was exactly.

But I love her so much. She's just who she is.

♪♪ LYNN: ♪ I lie here all alone ♪ In my bed of memories ♪ I'm dreamin' of your sweet kiss ♪ ♪ Oh, how you loved on me RUSSELL: My brother Jack was -- He was a lot like my dad.

My dad and my brother could not be in the same room for two minutes without fighting.

And he couldn't sing.

Just like my father, my brother Jack -- He couldn't even hum in tune, okay. Or whistle.

You didn't want to hear any of those things.

He loved horses. And he loved the farm.

ERNEST RAY: Well, we was in Nebraska.

And Jack worked here on the ranch with my dad.

And Mama got sick. We was coming home from Nebraska, and we was in Mount Vernon, Illinois.

And I was manager then, and she was sick, so I put her in a hospital.

She was in ICU. She'd dehydrated.

And I was sitting there with her.

And I sent the band home on the other bus.

And in ICU, there's no TV, nothing. You're just plugged in.

Said, 'Something's the matter with Jack.'

I said, 'Ain't nothing the matter with Jack, Mama.

He's at the ranch with Dad.'

'No, something's the matter with him.'

So I said, 'No.'

And you could only stay in there like 10 minutes.

I went over to the little old hotel connected to the hospital, and Dad called me the next morning.

He said, 'I need some phone numbers.'

He said, 'Jack didn't go home.'

Well, him and Dad was fighting.

Jack -- 'I quit, I'm taking my horse and stuff, I'm going home.' Well, he didn't get home.

So, me and Jack always had the same girlfriends, you know.

And he said, 'I need some phone numbers.'

I said, 'No, no, no, no.' Jack was married.

He said, 'No, he didn't come home.

Just give me some numbers.'

I gave him a few numbers and stuff.

He called back. He says, 'He ain't at none of them.

I've done called the rescue squad and stuff.

We found his horse on the river bank so...' I didn't say nothing to Mom. Went back to the hospital.

She said, 'Something's wrong.' She said, 'I can just tell it.'

RUSSELL: They were in boats with these nets, and they were dragging the river.

And the look on his face, my dad's face, looking at that water.

I kept thinking, 'Is that like a mirror of time?

Is every memory that he ever shared with his son...' He's having to see that dragging this river, looking for his body.

LYNN: I was in the hospital, and they didn't tell me anything about it.

They looked for him for three days before they found him.

And after they found him, Doo come and told me.

He drove all the way to where I was at, down in Illinois somewhere.

And told me, 'Jack died.'

I couldn't believe that, but... Yeah, sometimes I know what's going to happen.

ERNEST RAY: And we didn't work for almost three years.

And it was real rough. It was bad.

LYNN: ♪ Our blessed Father gives us life ♪ ♪ Has the power to take it away ♪ ♪ There's no reason for what he does ♪ ♪ God makes no mistakes PEGGY: Dad became a binge drinker then.

So for three months, he would drink every day.

Be drunk every day, you know, kind of thing.

By the end of the day, he'd come in out of the field and have to go to bed.

So... And would tell you how ashamed he was.

And for a child, for a young adult, for me, that was horrible to watch.

ERNEST RAY: And that's when my dad started having strokes and stuff.

And we didn't know he was having mini strokes.

We just thought he'd be talking, just go off somewhere, then comeback again.

But he'd had like 15, 20 mini strokes.

LYNN: Staying off as long as I did, like six years, you know, taking care of Doo.

Yeah, I didn't go out and sing.

I felt that I was the one supposed to take care of him, and I did.

But I sat and watched them take one leg off and then the other leg off, and that was hard.

That was so hard because he loved the farm.

And I knew that he wouldn't be working anymore.

That bothered me.

ERNEST RAY: Two days before Dad died, he never admitted to nothing, ever.

He said, 'I don't give a damn if you get caught in the bed with her, it ain't you.'

He said, 'If you leave that little bit of doubt, it's always in her mind it might not be you.'

Me and Mama sitting over and talking to him, and his lungs kept filling up and stuff.

He was sitting there and laying in the bed.

And me and Mom was talking to him.

He still had good sense about him and stuff, but his lungs -- wasn't taking the fluid.

He just drowned in his lungs, you know.

Heart failure's what they call it.

And he looked up at Mom, he said, 'Loretta, I just want to let you know, you're the only woman I've ever slept with.'

Hell, I like spit my implants out.

[ Laughs ] Hell, I turned around and hauled ass in the bedroom, and I'm just dying, laughing.

I said, 'The old son of a bitch ain't going to give it up.'

Mama come in the bedroom. 'Did you hear that bleep?'

I said, 'I heard it, I heard it.'

She said, 'He's gonna stick to it, ain't he?'

I said, 'You got to give him credit for one thing -- He ain't never admitted to bleep and never will.' And he didn't.

LYNN: ♪ God knows he wasn't perfect ♪ Ah, but then, again, nobody is ♪ ♪ He always told me the truth ♪ No matter how hard it was to hear ♪ ♪ When he said, 'I believe in you' ♪ ♪ That was music to my ears ♪ Oh, each word's like a note, like a beautiful tune ♪ ♪ The kind that inspires and helps you get through ♪ ♪ Oh, if I said, 'I can't,' he'd say, 'You can' ♪ ♪ He was my toughest critic, oh, and my biggest fan ♪ ♪ Now he's gone to a distant shore ♪ ♪ And I can't hear the music, anymore ♪ OERMANN: I think that the relationship between Loretta and Doo is so complicated and so...deep.

He was, in many ways, her father, 'cause he married her when she was so young.

So part of her growing up was being his wife.

They fought like cats and dogs, but they always stayed together.

The profound comparison is... Tammy Wynette, who sang 'Stand By Your Man' but married multiple times, and Loretta, who lived 'Stand By Your Man.'

You know, it's kind of like, yes, he had his weaknesses, yes, he drank, yes, he ran around on her.

But you know what? He's still her man.

LYNN: ♪ Now he's gone to a distant shore ♪ ♪ And I can't hear the music anymore ♪ ♪ I can't hear the music ♪♪ [ Song ends, cheers and applause ] CAMP: ♪ Well, like any other would-be country-singin' sensation ♪ ♪ I had no visible means of transportation ♪ ♪ So, one Sunday mornin', I was searchin' the ads ♪ ♪ When I found one that I wanted and I wanted it bad ♪ ♪ He found one that he wanted, -and he wanted it bad ♪ -LYNN: This is good.

CAMP: ♪ I called up the salesmen, he said, 'Come on in ♪ ♪ I've got that Lincoln right here belonged to Loretta Lynn ♪ ♪ The coal miner's daughter used to drive it to town ♪ ♪ It's yours for a song and 500 down ♪ ♪ He said it's yours for a song and 500 down ♪ ♪ Well, I throw my ol' guitar in that big back seat ♪ ♪ And I steered her on out onto Demonbreun Street ♪ ♪ Them other cars moved over like the Red Sea parted ♪ ♪ It was then I had a vision of Dolly Parton ♪ ♪ Right then and there, he had a vision of Dolly Parton ♪ You remember this one we wrote?

'I'm more alone when I'm with you than I am when I'm alone'? LYNN: That's the one that I threw at you, remember?

That I wrote on and wrote on and wrote on and wrote on and never could write it.

I handed it to him, and he had it wrote in a few minutes.

♪ Wish I could find a love someplace where I felt I belonged ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ 'Cause I'm more alone when I'm with you than I am when I'm alone ♪ CAMP: ♪ When I'm alone, I'm lonesome, oh ♪ ♪ But I don't feel as blue ♪ As I do when you're around to break my heart in two ♪ LYNN: ♪ Wish I could find a love someplace where I felt I belonged ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ 'Cause I'm more alone when I'm with you than I am when I'm alone ♪ CAMP: You know, the first day we sat down to write several years ago, you were just reading off all these song titles and thoughts and ideas you had, and I remember one was like, 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place.'

You had several different -- You were just spitting 'em out.

-And I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.' -LYNN: You stopped me.

When I got to a title he wanted to write, 'That's it.'

CAMP: 'I'm Dying For Someone to Live For.'

LYNN: Yeah, 'I'm Dying For Someone to Live For.'

I listened to that the other day. It's really good.

TOGETHER: ♪ Loneliness falls all around ♪ And it's almost got me down ♪ Well, I guess when it rains, it pours ♪ ♪ I'm dyin' for someone to live for ♪ CAMP: Let's look through some of your scraps and see what you got.

Maybe we'll write us one here on the spot.

LYNN: You want to see what I wrote on that?

CAMP: Yeah, let's see that. What is that?

LYNN: That's probably all I had to write on when I wrote it.

CAMP: Wow.

LYNN: 'Give a man a free hand, and he'll put it all over you.'

Yeah.

-CAMP: [ Laughs ] -LYNN: That's the truth.

CAMP: 'Give a man a free hand, and he'll put it all over you.'

-LYNN: Yeah. -CAMP: You were probably riding down the road at 90 miles an hour in a bus, and that thing bouncing all over the place when you're trying to scratch this stuff off, you know.

LYNN: That's probably it, yeah. In the middle of the night.

CAMP: 'Portland, Oregon.' That's the one you did with Jack White.

LYNN: Yeah, me and Jack White cut this.

CAMP: You wrote that a long time before you met Jack.

LYNN: Oh, yeah, a long time before I met Jack.

♪♪ ♪ Well, Portland, Oregon, and sloe gin fizz ♪ ♪ If that ain't love, then tell me what is ♪ ♪ Uh-huh ♪ Uh-huh ♪ Well, I lost my heart, it didn't take no time ♪ ♪ But that ain't all, I lost my mind in Oregon ♪ WHITE: ♪ In a booth in the corner with the lights down low ♪ ♪ I was movin' in fast, she was takin' it slow ♪ ♪ Uh-huh ♪ Uh-huh First exposure to Loretta's music was from the movie 'Coal Miner's Daughter,' when I was a kid, probably 6 or 7 or something like that.

And when we were in the White Stripes, Meg and I both loved Loretta.

We listened to her all the time when we were on tour in the van.

That was one of our go-to records, was the Loretta Lynn box set, We had bought the box set. So we were listening to all the CDs.

We thought, we should really dedicate this album to her.

And we did. And we just thought that would be the end of it.

It was just a nice thank you to her for her influence on us over the years.

But Loretta wrote us a letter.

Word got to her about that, and she wrote us a letter and said, 'That was really nice of you, and I'd love for you to come, and I'll cook you dinner sometime,' something like that.

And I have the letter framed in my house.

It was one of the first things I ever framed as an adult.

Thinking I'm never going to actually meet Loretta Lynn, I just thought it was just a nice gesture of hers.

But she did invite us down for dinner.

We did go down there, and it was pretty amazing.

She was super nice.

She went up in the attic and got a dress for Meg, a red dress for her, and gave it to her.

LYNN: ♪ Well, I looked at him and caught him lookin' at me ♪ ♪ I knew right then we were playin' free in Oregon ♪ ♪♪ WHITE: Patsy, her daughter, had mentioned that they were going to maybe make a new record.

And I said, 'Wow. Really?'

And I was just kind of eating and saying, 'Well, you know, if you ever need a producer, I'll throw my hat in the ring,' thinking they're never going to let me produce her record, you know.

I'm not a producer on a level that they would know about or care about.

I produce, like, garage-rock records that 500 people heard of or something.

So I said, 'When was the last record you made?'

And she hadn't recorded a record of her own songs in 12 years or something like that.

I thought, 'Wow. Why are you doing this with me, then?

I mean, that's amazing that this moment is happening.

This is great. I mean, what if I hadn't raised my hand?'

She pulled out a pile of, you know, hundreds of songs that she'd written on sheets of paper.

She pulled those out from under, like, something in her bedroom.

And the songs that are on the album are just the first 10 that we pulled out.

We didn't go through all of them.

We just pulled out 10 random ones, and they become the songs on the album.

The album turned out so good, it always makes me wonder, 'God, what if we had actually gone through all those songs and picked 'the best' ones?'

Because the 10 random ones that came out are incredible, and it just makes me think how many more are there.

LAMBERT: To see her still working and singing on the Opry and making records with Jack White and just being cool and hip and with it and together -- She's reinvented herself, but she's also stayed true to who she always was from the beginning.

And that's few and far between for people to do that.

SPACEK: And she keeps making music.

And some of her best -- And it's evolved. You know, it continues to evolve.

I think 'Van Lear Rose' just blew everybody away.

They just -- It blew 'em away.

McENTIRE: Totally.

I kept it in my CD player forever.

People would say, 'What are you listening to?'

I'd say, 'Loretta Lynn, new album.'

ERNEST RAY: Oh, yeah, 'Van Lear Rose' was great.

The only thing -- We paid for that album.

MAN: Yeah.

ERNEST RAY: And... ...it appeals to a certain crowd.

It don't appeal to the old country people.

So it didn't sell that good.

They got a Grammy for it, but, still, that don't make up for the sale of the album.

'Cause it costs a lot of money to make an album now.

WHITE: ♪ Next day, we knew last night got drunk ♪ ♪ But we loved enough for the both of us ♪ ♪ Uh-huh TOGETHER: ♪ Uh-huh LYNN: ♪ In the morning, when the night had sobered up ♪ ♪ It was much too late for the both of us in Oregon ♪ EMMY ROSE: I like 'Portland, Oregon' with Jack White and her.

That's my favorite song, even though I may have met him.

I don't remember meeting him, but I would love to meet him.

But he's awesome. I love that song.

I love the 'ding, da-ding-ding.' I don't know.

I love the guitar solo. I probably sound like [whistles] But he's awesome and she's awesome, and I just love her, and -- Yes.

LYNN: ♪ Woman, you don't know me ♪ But you can bet that I know you ♪ ♪ Everybody in this whole darn town knows you, too ♪ ♪ I brought along our little babies ♪ ♪ 'Cause I wanted them to see ♪ The woman that's burning down our family tree ♪ WHITE: Sometimes when there was a break, she would explain to me what was the metaphors behind the lyrics, which were so, so deep that you would never imagine that Loretta would have thought of those things.

On the surface you would just think -- I think she's battled that her whole career, you know, that she's some kind of dumb hillbilly or something and that these are clever songs with a clever country title.

And what's really made it so beautiful and magical and lasted this long is how brilliant she is underneath all that.

There's a layer underneath that supports all that, and if you really dig deep into the lyrics, you realize that she's way far ahead of you.

♪♪ LYNN: ♪ I brought along his ole dog, Charlie ♪ ♪ And the bills that's overdue ♪ The work you do, Lord, we need money, too ♪ WHITE: 'I brought along our little babies and something something, too,' and she says to the girl... She says, 'I brought along our little babies and the bills that's overdue.

The job you're workin', Lord, we need money, too.'

I couldn't believe what she told me, man.

As a songwriter, you're just like... It blows your mind when someone else cares so much about the little detail of it, and she was saying, 'Brought along our little babies and our bills that are overdue.

the job you're working, Lord, we need money, too.'

She turned to me and said, 'You know what I'm saying, right?

I'm sayin' she's a whore.'

[ Laughs ] At that instant, you're like -- I thought for a second, you mean, she's just being very light on it.

Like, I'm not getting deep on this.

I'm just calling her an evil name.

She didn't mean that.

She meant she's actually a working prostitute.

'The job you're working, we need money, too.

So if you're going to be a whore, give us some of your whore money to pay our bills.'

That's how deep she was on that lyric that I'm sure it just flies right by anyone who would listen to that song.

LYNN: ♪ Bring out the babies' daddy ♪ That's who they've come to see ♪ ♪ Not the woman that's burning down our family tree ♪ ♪ No, not the woman that's burning down our family tree ♪ CROW: Her lyrics were just right, you know, really caught your ear, and it made you feel like, 'Oh, she wrote that for me.

She knows -- How does she know that?'

And she was so masterful at that -- writing, you know, really catchy pop songs that were country songs.

WHITE: She's got her own style of writing because she writes backwards.

She sort of writes with a double chorus.

There's not just one chorus, per se, when you listen to her songs.

There's like two choruses.

And she starts sort of with the second one and then comes back and writes the first part of the chorus and then goes back and starts writing the verses and the story to get to it.

Let's say 'Fist City,' for example.

The beginning of that chorus starts off... ♪ If you don't want to go to Fist City ♪ ♪ You better detour around my town ♪ Now, is this a verse or is this a chorus?

Nobody writes like this.

♪ 'Cause I'll grab you by the hair of the head ♪ ♪ And I'll pick you off of the ground ♪ That's the first part of the chorus, and then it's... ♪ I ain't saying my baby's a saint, 'cause he ain't ♪ I mean, that's just a weird way of writing that you don't see other people do.

To me, she started with the second part and worked back around and interchanged those, but just to have that two existing parts right there that have nothing to do with the verses of the song, that's really complicated to do.

You couldn't really sit down and do that, really.

A really trained professional songwriter, it'd be very hard for them to pull off, but it's just natural to her.

MAN: Do you have a favorite song?

-McENTIRE: Of Loretta's? -MAN:Yeah.

McENTIRE: Every night before I go onstage, I sing... ♪ Going to wipe these teardrops from my eyes ♪ That's my song.

Yeah, that's my warm-up song.

Ask JD. He's my sound man.

And that's the way I check my mike.

I sing that song every night.

♪ I'll be true to you, honey, while you're gone ♪ ♪ If you're not gone too long, oh, yeah ♪ That's the song I sing for Loretta.

SPACEK: ♪ We were so happy, my heart was in a whirl ♪ ♪ Now I'm a honky-tonk girl LAMBERT: ♪ Yeah, I'm proud to be a coal miner's daughter ♪ ♪ In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ We were poor, but we had love ♪ ♪ That's the one thing my daddy made sure of ♪ You can splice Sheryl in on that last line if you want to.

It'll be like a duet. [ Laughs ] -MAN: We'll do that. -LAMBERT: Okay.

CROW: ♪ From a mail-order catalog ♪ Money saved from selling a hog ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ Daddy always managed to get the money somewhere ♪ LYNN: ♪ Yeah, I'm proud to be a coal miner's daughter ♪ TOGETHER: ♪ I remember well the well where I drew water ♪ LYNN: ♪ The work we done was hard ♪ At night we'd sleep 'cause we were tired ♪ ♪♪ EMMY ROSE: ♪ Starts with a G ♪ When I hold it in my hands ♪ Whisper and you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ ♪ Pulling me back down an old Kentucky road ♪ ♪ A little girl sitting on her front porch ♪ ♪ Picking, pouring out her soul ♪ ♪ And little did she know ♪ All the secrets it was gonna hold ♪ ♪ This Epiphone guitar my memaw gave to me ♪ ♪ When I pick it up, I just feel the melody ♪ ♪ Her ins and outs, her ups and downs ♪ ♪ Are the story that it sings ♪ And I get to be the one ♪ Unwinding the strings ♪ Oh, when I reach for the C, the words that I find ♪ ♪ Don't come home a-drinkin' with lovin' on your mind ♪ ♪ Leading me on to the Grand Ole' Opry stage ♪ ♪ Heartbeat a-racing and the house lights burning ♪ ♪ Kisses on my face ♪ Who'd have thought I would be standing where she stood? ♪ ♪ Playing this Epiphone guitar my memaw gave to me ♪ ♪ When I pick it up, I just feel the melody ♪ ♪ Her ins and outs, her ups and downs ♪ ♪ Are the story that it sings ♪ And I get to be the one ♪ Unwinding the strings ♪ From the hands of a girl from Butcher Holler ♪ ♪ To the hands of a coal miner's great-granddaughter ♪ ♪ This Epiphone guitar my memaw gave to me ♪ ♪ When I pick it up... ANNOUNCER: It's Grand Ole Opry time again tonight, starring Red Foley, Minnie Pearl, Rod Brasfield, Hank Williams.

♪♪ WILLIAMS: ♪ I came home last night about half past 10:00 ♪ ♪ And that baby of mine, she wouldn't let me in ♪ ANNOUNCER: The 'Lovesick Blues' boy, Hank Williams!

♪♪ WILLIAMS: ♪ I saw the light, I saw the light ♪ ♪ No more... [ Yodeling ] ♪ I got the lovesick blues [ Cheers and applause ] TOGETHER: ♪ I was born a coal miner's daughter ♪ ANNOUNCER: She's the most-awarded lady in the history of country music, ladies and gentlemen.

The first lady to have a motion picture made of her life.

Now she is the new recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She is the coal miner's daughter, Ms. Loretta Lynn.

[ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ To learn more about Loretta Lynn and other American masters, visit PBS.org/americanmasters, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

'Loretta Lynn' is available on DVD.

The music CD 'Full Circle' is also available.

To order, visit shopPBS.org or call 1-800-PLAY-PBS.

-♪ I can almost feel you with me ♪ ♪ Here in this blue moonlight ♪ Oh, I miss being Mrs. tonight ♪ ♪♪ ♪ Oh, I miss being Mrs. tonight ♪