When Loretta Lynn‘s legendary career soared, it inadvertently laid the foundation for a country music legacy, transforming a family from Butcher Hollow, Kentucky into Nashville royalty. Her musical journey not only defined her success but also paved the way for her younger siblings—Jay Lee Webb, Peggy Sue, and Crystal Gayle—to embark on their own musical ventures.
While each sibling pursued their unique paths in the industry, there were moments of collaboration. Loretta and Peggy Sue, in particular, shared a special musical bond, co-authoring several of each other’s chart-topping hits. Let’s delve into three lesser-known songs that emerged from the collaborative magic between these talented sisters.
“Love Whatcha Got at Home” – Peggy Sue (1969)
When Loretta and Peggy joined forces, it all began with their collaboration on Peggy Sue’s debut album, Dynamite! The magic of their partnership continued when Loretta decided to record her own version of the track in 1971, featuring it on her immensely successful album, You’re Lookin’ at Country.
Loretta’s rendition, true to her superstar style, took on a more theatrical vibe compared to her sister’s performance. With every drawn-out word, Loretta infused the song with a boldness that underlined its sentiment. On the other hand, Peggy Sue’s version, while equally compelling, exuded a touch more subtlety, showcasing a different facet of the song’s emotional depth. It’s a beautiful testament to how two sisters can bring their unique flair to the same piece of music.
“No Woman Can Hold Him Too Long” – Peggy Sue (1969)
Their collaborative spirit continued with another gem, “No Woman Can Hold Him Too Long,” released on Peggy Sue’s debut album in 1969. This joint effort showcased the seamless harmony between the siblings. Although Dynamite! might not have achieved the status of a smash hit, it was a significant milestone for Peggy Sue, setting her on a distinct path—not in her sister’s shadow but side by side with her. The album marked the beginning of Peggy Sue’s own musical journey, standing as a testament to the individuality and shared brilliance of the Lynn sisters.
“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” – Loretta Lynn (1966)
In 1967, a poignant tune emerged, delving into the struggles of dealing with an inebriated husband returning from a night on the town. The song resonated deeply with both Loretta and her sister, reflecting experiences they could both relate to. It was Peggy Sue who initially conceptualized the song, bringing her ideas to Loretta so they could collaboratively bring it to life.
As Loretta vividly recalled in her book Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics, “I looked at what she had on paper, and I kind of knew what she was trying to say.” The creative connection between the sisters was almost telepathic, a bond that goes beyond words. Loretta likened it to the understanding between twins, stating, “What one can’t think of, the other one can.” There was an unspoken synergy that allowed them to delve into each other’s thoughts effortlessly.
In her own words, Loretta expressed this unique connection with Peggy, sharing, “I’ve always had this feeling with Peggy that I am kind of inside her head. Maybe it’s because she means so much to me. We can look at each other and know what the other is thinking.” It was this profound understanding that fueled their creative collaboration. And when the song was finally completed, both sisters shared the sentiment that it was nothing short of great—a testament to the harmonious magic born from their shared experiences and mutual understanding.