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Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307594890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307594891
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

LORETTA LYNN was the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association. She has had sixteen number-one singles, fifteen number-one albums, and countless other hit records.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"The Story of My Life"


I wrote the song "The Story of My Life" just because I was born in old Kentucky in them hills where folks are lucky!

I wrote this song in about 1959. It was one of my first ones. Doo and I'd just started, and I was learning how to write songs. For me, I could and can only write what I've lived. I recorded this song on my very first session on Zero Records and forgot about it! Patsy, on the other hand, didn't. I told ya'll she is my biggest fan. She loved

it, drug it out, and wrote a couple of new verses to it, played it for Jack White, and the rest is history. Now I can forget about this song again (laughing)!


He's the story of my life,

Listen close and I'll tell ya twice.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey.


I was born in old Kentucky

In them hills where folks are lucky

And it's paradise to me.

Well, I got a feller right over the hill

If he asks me to marry well I know

I will.


He asked me to marry, got kids of four

And I'm tellin' you I don't want no more.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey.


Doo got me a guitar, I wrote me a song

Moved to Nashville and it wasn't long

Till I was on the Grand Ole Opry.


We bought us a mansion on the hill

Livin' big like we were big deals

Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With the Wind


I was pregnant again.

Oh gee, oh Lord I swear

The babies are comin' in pairs.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey.

Well, some big shot from Hollywood

Thought a movie about my life would be good

It was a big hit, made a big splash

What I wanna know is what happened to the cash.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey.


Now me and Doo married forty-eight years

Six kids later, a lot of laughter and tears.

I have to say that I've been blessed

Not bad for this old Kentucky girl I guess.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey.


Well, here's the story of my life,

Listen and I'll tell it twice.

Yeah hey, yeah hey, yeah hey . . .




Wilburns

If it wasn't for Teddy and Doyle Wilburn, I don't know if I would have gotten to be as successful as I became in country music.

I met Doyle for the first time in 1960. I had just recorded my record "Honky Tonk Girl" on Zero label. We met at a DJ convention out west. I gave Doyle my record, and he gave me his address and told me if me and my husband ever got to Nashville we should let him know. As soon as I got home, I started writing the Wilburns letters. And they always wrote me back. I told them I really wanted to get my foot in the door in the music business. So Doyle and Teddy sent me out six songs and said to learn them and if I ever came to Nashville, Tennessee, they would demo me singing them. That was all we needed to hear! Me and Doo loaded our oldest off to Doo's mom and daddy, and Ernest and Cissie went to my mommy's house in Indiana . . . then we drove straight to the Wilburn Brothers' office. Lord, them boys were surprised to see us.

The Wilburns were a big family, and the whole family worked there. They took me and Doo in, found us a place to stay, fed us, gave us money, and treated us like their family.

Teddy and Doyle did what they said they would do. I learned all the songs they sent me, and they cut my first demos. The boys and I became close, like sister and brothers. Teddy and Doyle were already pretty big stars in country music and really good businessmen. They started working with me, teaching me how to sing and how to think about writing songs so I could become a better songwriter. Heck, Teddy even bought me my first pair of high heels. He said that I came to Nashville looking like Annie Oakley's lost sister! I put on those high heels, and Teddy made me walk up and down the hallway at his office until I had blisters.

I wrote with both Teddy and Doyle. I had never written with anyone be-fore, so it was like stepping into a whole new world. I learned so much from them. The boys said they were learning from me, too. Teddy and I spent the most time together, since he was the more musical of the two. Doyle was more of the manager type, at least when it came to working with me.

Both always encouraged me to write my own songs. They also got me signed to Decca Records, and they asked Owen Bradley to produce me. Later, the boys got their own TV show and asked me to be the girl singer on the show. Throughout the sixties and early seventies, they became my partners in songwriting, my publishers, and my managers. The whole family, from Lester to Leslie, kept our books and paid all our bills. Momma Wilburn became like a second mom to me and Doo.

All the Wilburns, like Doolittle, have passed away. But like my kids are now helping me run my business, their family is the same. Not too long ago, me and my kids and Arvimia and her sons were all together. It was so great to see our children talking about songs and pitching songs and talking business. Just seeing them working together was great. I couldn't stop smiling. Family . . .


"I'm a Honky Tonk Girl"


Release date: 1960

I always heard music when I was growing up, but writing a song is a bit different than just listening. In the mountains people would write about the things that happened, good or bad, so that's just what I did. I guess I had been singing three or four weeks when a girl I had picked strawberries with started coming in the little club where I worked. She would sit in the same booth every night. She never had drunk before, so after about two or three beers she would start to cry. One night on my ten-minute break I got down offstage and asked her why she was coming to the club alone and drinking. She told me her husband had left her and their seven children about three months ago for a younger woman who didn't live too far from where she lived. Then we both cried. That night I wrote this song about her. It was the first song I ever wrote.


Ever since you left me I've done nothing but wrong

Many nights I've laid awake and cried

We was so happy my heart was in a whirl

But now I'm a honky tonk girl

So turn that jukebox way up high

And fill my glass up while I cry

I've lost everything in this world

And now I'm a honky tonk girl

I just can't make a right with all

of my wrongs

Every evening of my life seems so long

I'm sorry and ashamed for all these things you see

But losing him has made a fool of me

So fill my glass up to the brim

To lose my memory of him

I've lost everything in this world

And now I'm a honky tonk girl

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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A very enjoyable book...just like her other two books.
VC101
I especially like how she tells the stories behind how she wrote the songs.
Jeff
Loretta is a great story teller this is well written and flows well.
Ky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Allen Chapman VINE VOICE on April 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loretta Lynn's "Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics" isn't quite what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a narrative explaining the stories behind Loretta's songs, instead what the book is is a collection of all of her songs in lyric form. For instance I was hoping to get the full lyric for "Coal Miner's Daughter" which Loretta has said contained far more lyrics than what was recorded. This longer version of lyrics is not included, the closest it comes is a copy of the original lyric sheet written by Loretta which does contain some different lines than what was recorded. But sadly, it's only the first page of the original sheet included so we don't get the whole song. Only the biggest songs get a blurb written about them. The rest are just presented as lyrics with which album they appeared on. There are photos throughout the book. But perhaps the most interesting thing of the book are the unreleased songs, probably a third of the book is lyrics from songs that have yet to be released (or even recorded). If you were hoping to learn a lot about the genesis of the songs, you won't really find it in this book, if you're looking for a songbook of her lyrics, then this is the book for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on May 7, 2012
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One of the best books I 've read in a long time. I especially like how she tells the stories behind how she wrote the songs. And I really enjoyed reading the lyrics of songs that she has not recorded or relesaed yet. Miss Loretta is one great story teller and one the most influential singer-songwriters of the 20th century !!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Traci from St. Joe on February 12, 2013
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I did not find this book very enjoyable. It was somewhat boring. However if you are a fan of Loretta Lynn, which I am you might enjoy reading about all of the songs that she has written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By duncan lp on April 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is a must for loretta lynn fans. this is a great addition to your book collections. many of her songs are printed in here. plus the story behind some of her songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry L. Baird on April 28, 2013
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I saw Loretta Lynn earlier this month and wanted to get this book after she talked about it. It's pretty interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brenda A. Ruple on March 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i bought this for my mother in law. I'm sure the description probably stated it was ONLY song lyrics but i didnt notice that part.

i thought it would have more info on loretta lynn's life, but it was 99% only songs
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rkb on June 24, 2013
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Interesting read just wish there would have been more on her life itself and a little less on the music. She is a firecracker and I love Mrs. Loretta
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Penny Bulgarella on February 3, 2013
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Christmas gift for my Mom. She enjoyed reading it. Bought used and it was in mint condition. Love a deal!
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