October 21

The Song that Catapulted Loretta Lynn’s Career


Cliché as it may sound but small beginnings indeed grow into great opportunities and that is somehow synonymous to Loretta Lynn’s career. To those who follow her career beginnings, it is no surprise to trace it back to the only song that made the name Loretta Lynn a bankable name in the country music scene- I’m a Honky Tonk Girl. It is also amazing to know that this was released as a debut song and written by its singer, Lynn herself. Reaching and living the dream is an understatement of Loretta Lynn’s hard work as it started as a self-promoted album with Lynn jumping from one radio station to another.

I’m a Honky Tonk Girl, Loretta Lynn

In her interviews and 2012 book, Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics, Loretta Lynn shared a nostalgic memory on how the song was written and the person who inspired the song’s lyrics. She said:

“When I wrote this song, I didn’t think anybody would ever hear this song. Doo bought me this little ol’ $17 guitar. I thought it was the greatest thing I ever had, you know? It probably was. I wrote this song in about twenty minutes. I never dreamed that song would be heard, but then it was a single.

A girl I had picked strawberries with started coming in the little club where I worked. She would sit in the same booth every night. She never had drunk before, so after about two or three beers she would start to cry. One night on my ten-minute break I got down offstage and asked her why she was coming to the club alone and drinking. She told me her husband had left her and their seven children about three months ago for a younger woman who didn’t live too far from where she lived. Then we both cried. That night I wrote this song about her.”

Listen to that song below and tell us what you think:


honkytonk, Loretta Lynn

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