I'm a Honky Tonk Girl

Album: Honky Tonk Girl: Collection (1960)

Songfacts®:

  • The saying, "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow" summarizes nicely Loretta Lynn's superstar country career, which started in 1960 when she recorded "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl" as her debut single. The song was a minor hit, climbing to #14 on Billboard's C&W Chart. By the late 1960s she had begun picking up various Female Vocalist of the Year trophies and in 1972 the singer became the first woman in history to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year trophy. Lynn dominated the Country charts throughout the rest of the decade and has continued to record hit records through the ensuing years. Her 50th anniversary year began with the award of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement on January 31, 2010.
  • Lynn wrote this song on a guitar bought by her husband Doolittle Lynn. She recalled: "When I wrote this song, I didn't think anybody would ever hear this song. Doo bought me this little ol' $17 guitar. I thought it was the greatest thing I ever had, you know? It probably was. I wrote this song in about twenty minutes. I never dreamed that song would be heard, but then it was a single."
  • In her 2012 book Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics, Lynn explained how a distraught friend inspired the song: "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."

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 15th 1960, Loretta Lynn made her first appearance* on the 'Grand Ole Opry'...
    Three months earlier on July 25th, 1960 her first nationally charted record, "I'm A Honky Tonk Girl", peaked at #14 on Billboard's Country & Western Best Sellers in Stores chart...
    Ms. Lynn, born Loretta Webb, will celebrate her 83rd birthday this coming April 14th {2015}...
    * She so impressed the 'Opry' staff that she was invited back for 21 consecutive week-ends.
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiI wonder what ever happened to that $17 guitar it would be worth a fortune today.
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