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Loretta Lynn followed the time-honored motto of the songwriter - "write what you know" - and turned it into her signature song, "Coal Miner's Daughter." Drawing from her own background, Loretta painted an autobiographical picture of her poverty-stricken childhood in the tough coal fields of Kentucky.
"This is the true story of my early life," Loretta recalled. "My daddy really did work in the coal mines and my mama did wash on the scrub board."
From Loretta's opening lines - I was born a coal miner's daughter/In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Hollow - listeners were instantly hooked. Her tale of family love amid the ravages of poverty may have been uniquely Loretta's, but fans of all backgrounds related to her message of taking pride in your roots.
"Coal Miner's Daughter" hit the charts in October of 1970, and by December 19 it had hit the top spot. The song later became the basis for a movie starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta, a role for which Spacek won an Academy Award.