Country music wasn’t always an equitable genre. It took women – trailblazers like Loretta Lynn – to not only put female country singers in the same bracket as their male counterparts but, to do it in a way that didn’t shy away from the rougher edges of femininity.
When it comes to having your music banned from radio, it’s hard to match the devil-may-care spunk of Lynn. The “Coal Miner’s Daughter” sang about divorce, going on the pill, getting into fights, and a host of other taboo topics that made the more traditional corners of Nashville blush in the mid-60s.
If songs like “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” and “Fist City” seem tame today, it’s because of Lynn’s unparalleled contributions to country music that have molded the genre in her own image.
The latest installment of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” saw some of the genre’s brightest up-and-comers take the stage at Nashville’s City Winery on Tuesday (Nov. 8) for a tribute performance to Queen Loretta.
Among the line-up were Brooke Eden, Wendy Moten, Stephanie Quayle, Caylee Hammack, Erin Enderlin, Miko Marks, Sacha, Tiera Kennedy and Bowen*Young. Before playing an original selection for their own catalogs, each of the artists covered a Lynn song with a marked reverence.
“On the heels of this album, I hear Lynn’s music differently,” Quayle told American Songwriter ahead of the performance. “I see her through a different lens. I have so much respect for her and when we were doing our soundtrack earlier it really felt like she was in the room.”