Loretta Lynn - vocals, guitar; Larry Byrom - guitar; John Hobbs - keyboards; David Hungate - bass; Matt Betton - drums; Weldon Myrick - pedal steel; Mark O'Connor - fiddle; David Innis - keyboards
Loretta Lynn will always be the queen of country music, although she was not the pioneer that Mother Maybelle Carter was, or may not have had the crossover appeal of Dolly Parton or Faith Hill. The fact remains, along with only the late Patsy Cline and late Tammy Wynette, Lynn was among the very first female country superstars to write and sing the music many have called the fabric of real American culture. Her rags to riches story, immortalized in the best selling autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, and an Academy Award winning movie of the same name (starring Cissy Spacek) makes her music even more special and accessible to the modern history of America.
This show, recorded in 1982 for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Concert Series, came two years after her popular film biography, when she was still very much enjoying a resurgence in popularity with both country and non-country audiences. She had been given two national TV specials after the film, and although she had decided to scale back on her touring schedule, she was still very much a major concert draw on the country circuit.
The show features a blend of her old classics and material from her newer albums at the time. Signed to MCA Records, clearly the most successful country label at the time, Lynn was backed by a promotional machine that was able to position her as a bona fide country music superstar. The tides would soon change for Lynn, however. Her popularity would begin to decline in the mid-1980s, with emergence of the "young" country sound that would effectively blend country and pop music. In 1984, her eldest son, Jack, perished while trying to cross the Duck River on horseback. Shortly thereafter, Lynn dramatically limited her recording and live appearances.
In 2002, after the death of her husband, Mooney, (the two were married nearly 50 years), she wrote a follow-up to Coal Miner's Daughter, entitled Still Woman Enough. She received a Grammy and made a musical comeback in 2004 with the album Van Lear Rose, which was produced by and featured the guitar and vocals of Jack White.