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The Story Behind Loretta Lynn’s Name and How Her Family Covered Her Birth Costs

The Story Behind Loretta Lynn’s Name and How Her Family Covered Her Birth Costs
Photo: Loretta Lynn/ Instagram

Loretta Lynn, a big name in country music, left a lasting impact on the industry. She was born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, a small coal-mining town. Her story from a humble start to becoming a famous singer is beautifully told in her 1976 book, Coal Miner’s Daughter, which she wrote with George Vecsey.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Loretta Lynn’s birth was quite unique. She was the oldest of eight children, and her family couldn’t afford a hospital during the Great Depression. Instead, an old midwife, known as Old Aunt Harriet, helped deliver her at home. In Coal Miner’s Daughter, Lynn shares:


>>READ ALSO: Loretta Lynn’s Autobiography ‘Still Woman Enough’: A Must-Read for Fans

“When I was born, there was no sense in going to the hospital. We couldn’t afford it anyway, not with the Depression going on. So we had this old woman, Old Aunt Harriet, around eighty years old, come to deliver me. She was almost blind, Mommy said, and she had to feel with her fingers where to cut the cord.”

Her father had to sell their milk cow, Old Goldy, to pay Aunt Harriet $35 to stay with Lynn’s mother for two weeks after the birth.

Lynn’s name also has an interesting story. Her mother named her after the famous actress Loretta Young, inspired by pictures from magazines.

Loretta Young and Tyrone Power in Café Metropole

“After I was born, Mommy put me in the crib in the corner. We just had this one-room cabin they made from logs, with the cracks filled with moss and clay. The wind used to whistle in so bad Mommy would paper the walls with pages from her Sears and Roebuck catalog and movie magazines. I remember I could see pictures of Hitler, Clark Gable, and that Russian man—Stalin, is that his name?—and a picture of a beautiful woman with earphones on her head, a telephone operator,” Lynn wrote.


>>READ ALSO: Loretta Lynn’s 7 Nicknames and How They Came to Be?

She continued, “Mommy never went to the movies, but she always liked pictures of Loretta Young and Claudette Colbert. Right over my crib, she pasted pictures of those two stars. That’s how I got my name. Lots of times I wonder if I would have made it in country music if I was named Claudette.”

Born in 1932, Loretta Lynn passed away in 2022 at the age of 90. In the early years of her career, there was a lot of mystery about her age and when she got married. Lynn was very private about her age, even in her autobiography.

Loretta Lynn/ Facebook

“When I was born, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the president for several years. That’s the closest I’m gonna come to telling my age in this book, so don’t go looking for it,” Lynn wrote.

Loretta Lynn’s life story is truly inspiring, showing her incredible spirit and talent. Her impact on country music has touched countless artists and fans over the years. If you want to dive deeper into her amazing journey and get a real sense of her life, grab a copy of Coal Miner’s Daughter. It’s a chance to experience her story up close and personal.

>>READ ALSO: Loretta Lynn’s Children: Meet The Coal Miner’s Daughter’s 6 Kids

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