While all of “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” nominees for Musical Event of the Year including Alan Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, Alabama, and Grace Potter come from different walks of life, one featured artist in particular stands out, the “First Lady of Country Music,” Loretta Lynn. Lynn’s integral contribution to the country music format paved the way for every female artist since her first hit single “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl” in 1960. She was CMA’s first Female Vocalist winner (1967) and the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year (1972). With a career-spanning 54 studio albums, 15 compilation albums, and 23 No.1 singles, Lynn has more than deserved a 39th CMA nomination for her collaboration with two of country’s most prominent stars Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow on “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Both of Lynn’s collaborators have been previously nominated in the category – twice for Sheryl Crow in 2003 and 2006, and once for Miranda Lambert in 2010. The modern collaboration is the centerpiece of the commemorative album Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn which was released in November 2010 to celebrate Lynn’s 50th anniversary in the music industry.
More about the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” Collaboration
Lynn released her autobiographical single “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1969 and rereleased it the next year to great critical acclaim. The signature song quickly became one of country music’s most widely revered pieces. With the No.185 spot on RIAA’s list of Songs of the Century, No.13 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music, and a recent inclusion in the National Recording Registry earlier this year, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is indisputably a staple song in country music history.
Lambert and Crow took on a big risk in choosing to cover this landmark song. Even more so considering the lyrics are a true-life testament to a woman’s impoverished upbringing in rural Kentucky as the daughter of a coal miner who was destitute in all things except an abundance of children and love. But with the 2010 recording of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Lambert and Crow proved the vitality of a classic cultural piece while simultaneously paying homage to their country music foremother. Retaining the original arrangement, lyrics, and Lynn’s traditional vocals, this collaboration found modern rejuvenation with Lambert’s country twang and Crow’s sultry harmonies. Says Lynn of the collaboration, “Miranda is so country and has a sassiness to her you can hear it as soon as she sings her first line…Sheryl adds such a soulfulness to her lines. I loved both. I am so happy and proud they did the song with me.”
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” carries double significance for Lynn. It’s a tribute to enduring hardships with integrity and love as well as a centerpiece of an outstanding musical career. Even after fifty years of producing artistically and culturally significant work, Lynn promises, “I am and will always be proud to be a coal miner’s daughter.”