Loretta Lynn 1932-2022

Very sad news that Loretta Lynn passed away at the age of 90. I met the lady one time and she was wonderful. She was the definition of the word classy.

When I was eight years old, my mom took me to Loretta Lynn’s ranch. I actually had breakfast with Loretta Lynn. My mom knew someone who knew her… we were at her Ranch that was just opened to the public. She saw us and pointed and said “come in here” and we sat at the table and ate with her. She was very nice. She kept asking if I needed anything and if I was having a good time.

She was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. Even though I was young, she didn’t talk down to me…she talked to me. It was a wonderful experience and even I knew at that age it was special…that this didn’t happen all of the time.

She wrote about real-life situations with women during her career. Her songwriting was honest and pure.

It saddens me that she just passed away. She is up there with Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and a host of other country legends. I was happy back in 2004 when Jack White of the White Stripes produced her album Van Lear Rose.

Jack White of the White Stripes is a huge fan of Loretta Lynn. The White Stripes dedicated their 2001 album, ”White Blood Cells,” to her and invited her to share a bill with them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

Jack White produced her album “Van Lear Rose” and he asked Loretta to write all 13 songs for the album. The title refers to the Van Lear Coal mines from her youth. White said he would have been happy just to play tambourine on the album as long as he got to work with her.

Country radio snubbed “Van Lear Rose,” and the album received no CMA Awards nominations but it still reached #2 on the country charts and #24 on the Billboard 200. Lynn notched five Grammy nominations for her new music. In February 2005, she and White won Grammy awards for best country album and best country collaboration.

The album is great and this is the song that I liked best. If modern country music was this…I would actually listen! As I type this…I get mad all over again by the way country radio treated this album.

Van Lear Rose

One of my fondest memories
Was sittin’ on my daddy’s knee
Listenin’ to the stories that he told 
He’d pull out that old photograph
Like a treasured memory from the past 
And say child This here’s the Van Lear Rose

Oh how it would bring a smile 
When he talked about her big blue eyes
And how her beauty ran down to her soul
She’d walk across the coal miner’s yard 
Them miner’s would yell loud and hard 
and they’d dream of who would hold the Van Lear Rose

She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Now the Van Lear Rose could’ve had her pick
And all the fellers figured rich
Until this poor boy caught her eye
His buddies would all laugh and say
Your dreamin’ boy she’ll never look your way
You’ll never ever hold the Van Lear Rose

She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Then one night in mid July
Underneath that ol’ blue Kentucky sky
Well, that poor boy won that beauty’s heart
Then my daddy would look at my mommy and smile
As he brushed the hair back from my eyes and he’d say
Your mama
She’s the Van Lear Rose

[Chorus]

Right under their nose
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Hank Williams – Move It On Over

Whenever I’m asked if I like country music…at first, I wonder what country they mean. If they mean commercial top 40…then not. If they mean Hank Williams, then a big fat yes. In this country, I hear a little rockabilly and country mix…which is a great thing.

Hank Williams as a songwriter is up there with the greats. Bob Dylan and more idolized him and his writing. This song was his first big hit. The song was written by the man himself. He released this song in 1947. Two years later, he received his invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry after his successful recording of the minstrel era song, “Lovesick Blues.”

Move It On Over peaked at #4 in the Country Charts in 1947.

Despite never learning to read music, Williams was a prolific songwriter including country music classics such as “Hey, Good Lookin’,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” He recorded a total of 66 songs in his six-year recording career, 37 of which became hit records. It was not unheard of for Williams to record three hit songs in one afternoon. Now think about this… out of 66 songs recorded…37 were hits… That is like batting over .500.

Williams was plagued by back pain throughout his life, likely due to spina bifida. Life on the road as a Country singer only made it worse. An operation in 1951 gave him no relief and actually increased his pain. The combination of unending physical pain and the pressure of being a successful recording artist led to Williams seeking solace in drugs in alcohol.

Many of you will remember this song by George Thorogood released in 1978 and picked up a lot of airplay.

Move It On Over

I come in last night about half past ten
That baby of mine wouldn’t let me in
So move it on over, rock it on over
Move over little dog, the mean old dog is movin’ in

She told me not to mess around
But I done let the deal go down
Move it on over, rock it on over
Move over nice dog, a big fat dog is movin’ in

She changed the lock on my back door
Now my key won’t fit no more
Move it on over, rock it on over
Move over nice dog, the mean old dog is movin’ in

She threw me out just as pretty as she pleased
Pretty soon I’ll be scratchin’ fleas
Move it on over, slide it on over
Move over nice dog, a mean old dog is movin’ in

Yeah, listen to me dog before you start to whine
That side yours and this side mine
So move it on over, rock it on over
Move over little dog, the big old dog is movin’ in

Yeah, she changed the lock on my back door
Now my key won’t fit no more
Move it on over, rock it on over
Move over little dog, the big old dog is movin’ in

Move it on over, move it on over
Move it on over, won’t’cha rock it on over
Move over cool dog, the hot dog’s movin’ in