Sunday, June 15, 2008

Loretta Lynn

Before I went to the Loretta Lynn concert Friday night at Stubb's, someone made a comment to me that "the only reason Loretta Lynn can even play Stubb's is because Jack White revived her career and that the crowd at Stubb's would be nothing more than a sea of hipsters anticipating a possible guest appearance on stage by White himself."

While Jack White certainly introduced Lynn to a whole new audience with his work on her highly acclaimed 2004 album, Van Lear Rose, the core constituency of country music listeners needed no introduction whatsoever. With a career that includes 17 Number 1 albums and 27 Number 1 singles on the country charts as well as an Oscar-winning movie about her life, Loretta Lynn needs little, if any, help from Jack White.

And while many misinformed individuals continue to believe that country artists are nothing more than conservative, Christian hillbillies; Loretta Lynn wrote songs that were banned from many radio stations including her song "The Pill," about the sexual liberation brought about by the introduction of birth control pills, as well as a protest song against the Vietnam War entitled "Dear Uncle Sam." In the current climate of manufactured country pop stars, Loretta Lynn is one of the few who talks it like she walks it. In my opinion, she is the undisputed queen of country.

As for this "sea of hipsters" that I was supposedly wading through Friday night, they did a good job of disguising themselves as blue-collar, rednecked Texans who adore Loretta Lynn, a country music icon who did not sing one, solitary song from Van Lear Rose. Hey, when you've got 27 Number 1 singles under your belt, how much help do you really need from a White Stripe anyway?

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