KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Throughout her over 50-year career, Loretta Lynn released hundreds of songs, with 16 Number 1 hits according to Billboard.
The County Music Association described Lynn as “the real-life coal miner’s daughter turned singer-songwriter whose authenticity, toughness and larger-than-life story inspired generations of female musicians and turned the turmoil, troubles and universal themes of everyday life to an art form.”
After the death of Loretta Lynn, her music can be expected to come back as fans listen and reminisce on the late Appalachian musician. The phenomenon is especially common for musicians who held an especially important part in their listener’s hearts. Some might remember in 2016 when Prince died, his music went on to hold the record for controlling the most positions on the Billboard 200 in a single week according to Forbes. Similarly, Lynn may do the same, as her work transformed Country music and proudly represented her life as an Appalachian woman.
In her work as a musician, Lynn released nearly 300 sounds, although she was additionally credited on 477 songs with a large portion of those focusing on writing and arrangement, according to discogs.com. Of the 283 songs she released, 76 of her songs made it to the Hot Country Songs chart, 51 became top 10 hits, and 16 hit number 1 according to Billboard. Here are her songs that hit number 1, with chart information found on Billboard’s website.
Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)
Lynn debuted this song on November 12, 1966, and over the next several months it worked it’s way up to the peak on the chart at number one on February 11, 1967. The song stayed on the charts for 19 weeks as it held onto its peak position for a week.
The lyrics closely relate to what one might expect from the title.
“You never take me anywhere because you’re always gone
Many a night I’ve laid awake and cried here all alone
Then you come in a kissin’ on me it happens every time
So don’t come home a drinkin’ with lovin’ on your mind”
Yet the upbeat, walking pace of the song leave the song with a different tone than the lyrics alone might read. Rather than a woman hurt, the song paints the picture of a strong woman who knows her worth.
The next number 1 hit that Lynn released debuted on February 24, 1968, and hit number one on April 20 of the same year. The song stayed on the charts for 17 weeks.
The song gets to the point right off the bat, calling out another woman being a bit too friendly with someone else’s man. The song ends stating:
“I’m here to tell you gal to lay off of my man
If you don’t wanna go to fist city”
The song is full of whitty quips, although they deserve to be heard rather than spoiled.
Woman Of The World (Leave My World Alone)
Debuting on February 22, 1969, it was on the chart for 16 weeks. Of that time, it was number one for one week, peaking on April 12 of 1969.
Anyone who appreciates the whine of a steel guitar is sure to appreciate this song. Similar to her earlier Fist City, the song conveys that there is another woman vying for her man’s attention. However, this time, the song is much more sorrowful, begging the woman to leave her man alone.
Coal Miner’s Daughter
One of Lynn’s best known hits, Coal Miner’s Daughter debuted on Halloween of 1970, and peaked on December 19 of the same year. While it was on the charts for 15 weeks, it was only number 1 for a week.
As Lynn was born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, this song relates back to her life growing up as a coal miner’s daughter in Appalachia. The lyrics explain:
“Well, I was borned a coal miner’s daughter
In a cabin, on a hill in Butcher Holler
We were poor but we had love
That’s the one thing that daddy made sure of
He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s dollar”
Lynn’s song would later lead to the production of the 1980 musical film, Coal Miner’s Daughter. IMDb shortly summarizes the film as a “The fictionalized life of singer Loretta Lynn, a girl who rose from humble beginnings to become a country music star in the 1960s/70s.”
After The Fire Is Gone
The first of Lynn’s number one hits with Conway Twitty debuted on February 6 of 1971, and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks. It stayed number one for two weeks after peaking on March 27, 1971.
The song is an original cheating song, discussing finding the warmth of love in another’s arms after the fire of romance burns out at home. While the lyrics make it clear, the singers know it’s wrong, this song set the tone of yearning that is found in many of Lynn and Twitty’s future songs together.
Lead Me On
Lynn’s next number one hit with Twitty was debuted on October 2 of 1971. Just over a month later, it peaked at number one on November 13. While it only stayed at number one for one week, it stayed on the charts for 17 weeks.
Keeping with the tone of many of Lynn’s hits, the song does deal with love and romance, but this one hits a different type of yearning. It’s strikes a complex emotion of wanting someone who should be unavailable, and being okay with being led on.
One’s On the Way
Debuting only a few months after Lead Me On, on December 11, 1971, this song stayed at number one for two weeks after peaking on February 5 of 1972. It was on the charts for 16 weeks.
While many of Lynn’s song focus around love and romance, this song is different. This hit focuses on a different aspect of life, that just about any mother would understand, juggling life, a relationship, and a couple of kids. The lyrics sound like something that might still be frequently said today.
“Now what was I doin’, Jimmy get away from there
Darn, there goes the phone
Hello honey, what’s that you say
You’re bringin’ a few old army buddies home
You’re callin’ from a bar
Get away from there, no, not you honey
I was talkin’ to the baby
Wait a minute, honey, the door bell
Honey, could you stop at the market and hello, hello
Well, I’ll be”
This hit debuted on December 9, 1972, and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. It was number one for a week, peaking on February 24, 1973.
Rather than taking a stance on whether a woman should or shouldn’t date around after divorce, this song explains the first-person view of living as a woman after divorce in that time and society.
“Well nobody knows where you’re goin’
But they sure know where you’ve been
All their thinkin’ of is your experience of love
Their minds eat up with sin
The women all look at you like you’re bad
And the men all hope you are”
Rather than painting divorce as golden or garbage, the song paints it for all that it entails: being seen as someone sexual and experienced, and the view that comes along with that from both men and women in a stereotypical heteronormative culture.
Love Is The Foundation
Debuting on May 19 of 1973, it stayed on the charts for 15 weeks. The song peaked at number 1 on July 14 and hung on for two weeks.
While many of Lynn’s songs may seem to focus on love outside of wedlock, this song encases keeping love at home as the foundation of a good, life-long relationship.
Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
Possibly one of Lynn’s best-known duets with Conway Twitty, this song debuted on June 23 of 1973. While it stayed on the charts for 14 weeks, it peaked on August 18 and stayed at number one for just one week.
The upbeat tune is timeless, sharing the excitement of love across the Mississippi river, and the eagerness to be together.
As Soon As I Hang Up the Phone
On June 15 of 1974, this song debuted, before climbing the charts to number one where it would peak at number one. It hit number one on August 17, 1974, and stayed on the charts for 15 weeks.
Yet another duet with Conway Twitty, the song walks through a breakup with Twitty on the other end of the phone. It is never idolized to relate to hearing around town that your relationship is over before hearing it from the other person, but many may be able to relate to the excitement of picking up the phone to talk to a significant other, to only be crushed by the relationship being over by the time they hang up the phone.
Trouble In Paradise
Originally Debuted on September 7, 1974, this song slowly rose to number one, peaking on November 23 of 1974. The song stayed on the charts for 17 weeks.
Compared to her earlier number one songs, this one has a somewhat different sound, both dabbling into a small town, church choir type of harmony of background singers in some places, paired with a more rocking style deep guitar.
The instrumentation of the song pulls out the themes within the lyrics, that a husband has to face the evils of the world every day, causing some strain on his marriage, but when he comes home, his wife’s love will take care of all of that.
The second of Lynn’s number one songs with Twitty debuted on June 21 of 1975. Over two and a half months, it rose to number one, peaking on September 6. The hit stayed on the charts for 16 weeks.
Similar to Lead Me On which also featured Twitty, the song acknowledges that the feelings had are not permanent, and will simply tide them over until they know where they are going, but leaning into the feelings nonetheless.
Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’ Tonight)
One of Lynn’s few hits to stay number one for two weeks, this song debuted on September 11 of 1976 and peaked on November 13 later that year. It stayed on the charts for 17 weeks.
The song included on Lynn’s Honky Tonk Girl collection seems to come from the perspective of the lonesome, other woman and showcases Lynn’s twangy accent very well. Also featuring what sounds like it might be a sad accordion and the steel guitar, the song taps into the late night sadness being felt, yearning for someone, possibly anyone, who is at home where he’s needed.
She’s Got You
Returning to Lynn being the only lead singer on the Track, She’s Got You debuted on February 2 of 1977, rising to number one on April 23. It held the number one position for only a week and stayed on the charts for 17 weeks total.
Many songs have tried to recreate this song, with the concept of having someone’s past while another has their future, but there are very few that capture it quite like this song did. The music that backs the track is a slow, reminiscing pace that draws the listener in as though it is their own story.
Out Of My Head And Back In My Bed
Debuting on December 3, 1977, this song managed to stay number one for 2 weeks. While it was on the chart for 15 weeks, it peaked on January 28 of 1978.
The upbeat song remains catchy, as the beat bops along. This song brings a brighter outlook on romantically wanting someone back, and while one might be able to find someone else, it just would not be the same.