On Tuesday (January 11th), country music icon Loretta Lynn took to her Instagram account to share a special tribute to her late husband, Oliver Lynn (also known as Doolittle), on what would have been their 74th wedding anniversary.
In the sweet post, Loretta Lynn declared, “74 years ago, my life changed forever when I married Doolittle. We had 48 years together and I sure wish he was still here! I miss him.”
Loretta Lynn married Doolittle on January 10, 1948. She was 15-years-old and he was 21-years-old. According to Taste of Country, Lynn has credited her late husband as being the person who pushed her to launch her country music career. He even gave Lynn her first ever guitar.
However, the marriage wasn’t always loving. Doolittle was known to be an alcoholic. He would also cheat on Loretta Lynn as well as physically abuse her. Her hit singles Fist City and Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ were inspired by Doolittle’s alcohol abuse and cheating.
Doolittle passed away in 1996. Loretta Lynn recalled singing Wouldn’t It Be Great? to her husband on his deathbed. She has never remarried. Doolittle and Lynn had six children together. Their second oldest son, Jack, died at the age of 34 in July 1984 from drowning. Their oldest, Betty Sue, died of emphysema when she was 64-years-old.
Loretta Lynn Opens Up About Her Marriage to Doolittle
During a 2002 interview with CBS, Lynn spoke about her marriage and the struggles she had with her husband through the years. “I didn’t need him but he was my kids’ daddy. Why leave hearts laying on the floor for me? I had to think of my kids. I can’t be that selfish. He broke my heart lots of times. But that woulda broke the kids’ hearts, wouldn’t it?”
Loretta Lynn also explained how her songs were inspired by her real life. “I’ve never written a song that my husband wasn’t in. Every song I wrote, but he didn’t know which line he was in.”
Despite enduring years of abuse from Doolittle, Loretta Lynn shared that she was definitely a fighter. “He never hit me one time that I didn’t hit him back twice.”
In regards to whether or not she would change anything about her life, Loretta Lynn admitted, “If I knew how my life would have been. No, I wouldn’t do it over again. It’s been tough. It’s been a tough life for me.”
Although she and Doolittle had their moments, Loretta Lynn said she does miss him. “I miss everything about him. There was no decision I ever made without talking it over with him. It’s hard because who do you go to now?”