eMusic Review 0
In a little over three minutes, this record's title track recounts Lynn's indigent Kentucky childhood "in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler," the daughter of a man who picked coal in the Van Lear mines and a woman who rocked her babies and "read the Bible by the coal-oil light." "Coal Miner's Daughter" is still one of the finest (and most literate) summaries of Appalachian life in the 1930s and '40s, a genuinely poignant thank you to two punctilious parents. It was also something of an aberration for Lynn, who, in 1970, was better known as a feisty, spirited songstress, quicker with a quip than an earnest, impassioned screed. The pedal-steel addled track — 40 years later, still Lynn's signature jam, and her first to make its way onto the Billboard pop chart — inspired an autobiography, which was eventually transformed into an Academy Award-winning film starring Sissy Spacek and Levon Helm in overalls.
"Coal Miner's Daughter" is an epic origin story, but the rest of the record is infinitely less confessional; Lynn only wrote three of its 11 tracks. Still, her gentle cover of Conway Twitty's "Hello Darlin'" — "What I'm tryin' to say is I love… read more »