Since its humble beginnings, Country Music has illuminated a path in the industry that inspired people of different backgrounds and changed the way people viewed music forever. A fundamental part of its emergence is the female country singers who, in the past, struggled with immense criticism and gender bias.
The female country artists we know about and look up to at present were once told that they had slim chances of attaining success. They endured the harsh comments of naysayers while they struggled to face the hurdles in their personal lives. If it were not for the magic that music could bring, these strong and talented women would not have been able to cope with all the pain and stress.
From their painful experiences, they were able to produce such touching lyrics and melody beautifully strung together. Perhaps, if you listen and revisit the lyrics of the songs listed below, you’d find yourself getting more up close and personal with the words of these lovely female singers.
1. Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn’s trademark for her music style is the edgy, emotionally-ridden tunes that spoke of domestic issues. From alcoholism to infidelity, Lynn tugged at heartstrings so strongly with raw angst and sorrow. Her songs, The Pill and Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) drew creative material from the topsy-turvy married life she had with Oliver Vanetta “Dollittle” Lynn. With a 6-year age difference, the couple got married. Doolittle was 21 while Loretta was 15. In spite of all the roadblocks in their union, the couple stayed together for almost 50 years, up until Doolittle’s demise in 1996.
2. Tanya Tucker
A child wonder during her time, Tanya Tucker became the talk of the town after Delta Dawn made record-breaking hits and Billboard charts and radios. She was just 13 when she first rose to fame. However, fame does have its dark, ugly side, and Tucker found herself being sucked into the black hole. It wasn’t long before her life was consumed by her addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Her career in music hit rock bottom and she was also the star of tabloids and controversies on many occasions. Tanya got into trouble often during the wee hours of the night and got involved with men who were years ahead of her. Thankfully, she was able to recover from her rocky past and reclaimed her spot in the charts during the 1980’s.
3. Dolly Parton
You probably did not realize it then, but Dolly Parton grieved for her younger brother through her songs. The fourth in a family of 12 children, the queen of Country was distraught when her younger sibling, Larry’s life was stolen just four days after he was brought into the world.
Dolly was raised in a doting family tradition where all older siblings were to take turns taking care of their younger brothers and sisters as a way of helping their parents. As such, one can only imagine the excitement that Dolly felt at the thought of having a little brother she would eventually take care of and help raise but life can be so cruel sometimes, and nothing could have prepared Dolly for such heartbreaking loss.
4. Skeeter Davis
Skeeter Davis consisted of high school friends who people assumed were related in real-life but were not. After joining forces to pursue a career in music, Mary Frances Penick adapted Betty Jack Davis’ name for their fake sister act dubbed ‘The Davis Sisters’. Eventually, the name transformed into Skeeter Davis.
Unfortunately, both artists got involved in a grave vehicular accident that stole the life of Betty Jack. At that time, the duo had just recorded their first and last hit, I Forgot More than You’ll Ever Know. There was an attempt to continue what the duo has started by bringing Betty’s sister, Georgia into the group but it did not work out.
5. Kitty Wells
Best known for her controversial yet socially challenging song, It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. It was a reply to the hit track, The Wild Side of Life. The song underscored the female population by blaming what it described as ‘loose women’ for all the wild things that men get themselves into. Wells’ song, despite introducing and defending the female perspective about the unbecoming song, gained immense controversy and backlash. She was even banned from many radio stations.
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