An Ode to the Coal Miner’s Daughter
A great lesson on American Opportunity!
If you happened to miss it, the “First Lady of Country Music” Loretta Lynn passed away this week. First things first! Condolences to her family and friends for their loss, and please know that the whole of the country-music-loving-world will miss her. Any of you who ever tuned in an AM radio or had a God-fearin, Nation-lovin Grandma know who Loretta Lynn was. Those of you who were denied the culture of being exposed to any of the above should still learn about her life as a singer and women’s advocate.
Loretta was the perfect example of why American Capitalism is important and should be nurtured, not scorned.
Loretta Webb was born in Butcher Hollow Kentucky in 1932. Loretta’s father was a coal miner and subsistence farmer. For those of you that are unaware, that meant “poor” during the depression in rural Kentucky. At 15, Loretta married Doo Lynn and the rest is history (almost). Loretta had 6 kids somewhere along the way, and in 1953 Doo bought her a $17 guitar that she taught herself to play over the next 3 years.
In the late 1950s, Loretta started playing in local clubs. She won a wristwatch on a televised talent competition and the rest was history! Norm Burley saw her sing and formed a record company called Zero Records. (For the younger generation, a record was a vinyl disk that we used to buy to listen to music.) 1960 was the year Loretta signed her first recording contract with zero and the “honky tonk girl” was launched.
You might be saying to yourself, This is a great story, but what in the world does it have to do with business?
Well, I am glad you asked!
It’s the story of American business right before our eyes. Born poor, no opportunity, but faith and passion in full supply. A story of success, opportunity, and the understanding that hard work can make a dream come true. Loretta is an amazing example, of course, but I am blessed at the Chamber to see these kinds of miracles every day.
Folks who start out with nothing but good idea, determination, and whatever talent God gave them. Folks who make something out of almost nothing.
Folks who quietly build our city, our state, and our nation. Certainly, we are blessed!
October is the month we pause to celebrate “The Coal Miners Daughter” and everyone like her across this community. We celebrate the community builders, the dreamers, and the workaholics.
In short, we celebrate business.
We celebrate those who pick up the torch from previous generations and forge ahead with this dream we call America. So, Rest in Peace Loretta, and thank you for the songs. But, more importantly, thank you for standing as an example of the American Dream. Happy Business Month Everyone!
YOUR Chamber of Commerce
Dale Steenbergen | President | CEO