A tough, pioneering woman whose avant-garde art included doses of courage and faith — GetReligion

If you know Nashville, you probably know there’s nothing new about top country music stars also being Christian believers. In fact, it’s probably worth a headline or two if the superstars send signs that they’re NO at home in the Bible belt.

That said, I am constantly amazed when journalists produce stories about country artists and remove details of their lives and music that point to faith. Happens all the time.

I’m not just referring to musicians who put a gospel song or two on their set lists when they’re on tour, as some kind of exercise in music history. I’m talking about the reporters who miss revelations in autobiographies, social media statements to fans, or mini-sermons on stage. I mean pass up the chance to talk to pastors who have known the artist for years.

This brings me to the death of the honky-tonk angel herself, Loretta Lynn, the matriarch of a generation or more of female artists in guitar town. Unsurprisingly, the obituaries that followed his death emphasized, with good reason, let me emphasize, his raunchy hit songs about blue-collar American life, with heavy doses of reality about hard times, troubled homes, broken marriages, and lots of bad times. other sobering things. subjects.

Which is why, to cut to the chase, it’s even more important that this legend turned to the Christian faith as an adult, in the midst of all that rough stuff. Hold that thought. Here is a portion of the Associated Press report that will appear in most American newspapers:

The Country Music Hall of Famer fearlessly wrote about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material that even rock artists once shied away.

His biggest hits came in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “You Ain’t Woman Enough”, “The Pill”, “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) , ” “Rated X” and “You are looking at Country”. …

Lynn knew her songs were groundbreaking, especially for country music, but she was just writing the truth experienced by so many rural women like her.

“I could see that other women were going through the same thing, because I worked in the clubs. I was not the only one living that life and I am not the only one living what I am writing today,” she told The AP in 1995.

All true. Lynn never hid her struggles and it was clear that her songs touched many women whose lives were not the stuff of the ordinary products of mainstream entertainment (or the content of sermons in many church pulpits).

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For more feedback along those lines, here’s a key section of the totally faith-free (#WaitForIt) obituary at the Nashville Tennessee:

In the early 1970s, Lynn wrote and recorded songs emphasizing the role of women in a changing America. “Rated ‘X’” lamented the treatment of divorced women as damaged goods, while “The Pill” celebrated birth control as a sexual and social equalizer. They were modern, country folk songs, with Lynn acting as Woody Guthrie from the housewife.

While she avoided any connection to Gloria Steinem’s women’s liberation movement, Lynn’s songs insisted on something akin to fair play between the sexes. Her messages reached a segment of the female population that found little point in marches, bra burnings and the like.

Again, all true. That’s crucial material in any tribute to this fierce female artist.

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