Loretta Lynn is a country icon. The hitmaker has released numerous chart-toppers over the year. Discover the story behind her greatest No. 1 songs below.
“Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”
Loretta Lynn’s first No. 1 single is “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).”
Her first No. 1 was the title track of her ninth studio album. The album itself reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Albums Chart and No. 80 on Billboard’s LP Chart. Lynn’s record was the first record for a female country artist to be certified Gold by the RIAA.
She recorded the song in Bradley’s Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The entire album was created in just four sessions from July through October of 1966.
- Album: Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’
- Year: 1986
- Standout lyric: “Liquor and love, they just don’t mix”
“Fist City” acted as a warning to the women who pursued her husband while she was on tour. The tune was later banned from the radio for her lyrics and overall theme.
“I’ve been in a couple of fights in my life. I fight like a woman,” she wrote in her 2001 memoir. “I scratch and kick and bite and punch. Women are much meaner than men. So I warned any girl making eyes at Doo then, and I’m still jealous enough to warn ’em today—if you see this cute little old boy near me wearing his cowboy hat, you’d better walk a circle around us if you don’t want to go to Fist City.”
- Album: Fist City
- Year: 1968
- Standout lyric: “When he picks up trash / He puts it in a garbage can / And that’s what you look like to me”
“Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone)”
Sharon Higgins wrote the No. 1 hit. The song featured the B-side to “To Make a Man.”
The lyrics paint a picture of a city girl coming to Lynn’s small town and hitting on her man. She calls her the “devil’s woman” and seemingly tells her to go to hell.
- Album: Woman of the World
- Year: 1969
- Standout lyric: “You’re the devil’s woman that’s what my man don’t know”
“Coal Miner’s Daughter”
The lyrics of the song paint a picture of her father’s experience working in Kentucky during the Great Depression. Loretta Lynn herself experienced that period as a child. Lynn wrote the song with ten verses on a $17 acoustic guitar she picked up. Lynn later re-recorded the song with Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow.
“[Producer] Owen Bradley heard me writing it,” Lynn told American Songwriter. “It had about ten verses, and he said it was too long. He said, “There’s already been an ‘El Paso,’ there didn’t need to be another one.” He knew it was about my life, and he didn’t care about my life and figured nobody else would. So I cut out, I think, four verses. And I cried the whole time. And I have lost those verses, I do not remember them. I wish I did.”
- Album: Coal Miner’s Daughter
- Year: 1970
- Standout lyric: “Mommy rocked the babies at night / And read the Bible by the coal oil light”
“One’s On The Way”
The title track to her 1971 record was written by legendary author Shel Silverstein. The song dives into the traditional storytelling lyricism. Loretta Lynn describes a mother in Topeka, Kansas that is pregnant with a brood of her own. She then compares her life to icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Jacqueline Kennedy.
Lynn famously performed the song during Season 3 of The Muppet Show. She sang the song with baby Muppets in the cradle. Recently, she referenced former First Lady Michelle Obama instead of the late Kennedy.
- Album: One’s On The Way
- Year: 1971
- Standout lyric: “But here in Topeka the rain is a fallin’ / The faucet is a drippin’ and the kids are a bawlin'”
Loretta Lynn was transparent and wrote about the stigma of divorced women, something that was taboo at the time. The song was received well by the majority of fans but did not go over well at radio despite reaching No. 1.
“A lot of the disc jockeys, you know, banned it before they even listened to it,” Lynn told NPR. “And, you know, after it got way up in the charts, and they all flipped the record, started listening to it and playing it. But, you know, another old, dirty record from Loretta Lynn.”
The White Stripes performed a cover of the song at their concerts. Lead singer Jack White was able to get Lynn to collaborate on their 2004 record, Van Lear Rose.
- Album: Entertainer of the Year
- Year: 1972
- Standout lyric: “Divorce is the key to bein’ loose and free”
“Love Is The Foundation”
“Love is the Foundation” is the title track to her 1973 record. This marked her 23rd studio album. William Cody Hall wrote the chart-topper that stayed at the No. 1 spot for two weeks. “
Loretta Lynn sings about love being the foundation for every good relationship. The song became a staple for her concerts. She previously discussed the meaning of the song and how she and her late husband Mooney made it work.
- Album: Love is the Foundation
- Year: 1973
- Standout lyric: “And love is the foundation we lean on / All you need is love to ease your mind”
“Trouble In Paradise”
“Trouble In Paradise” was the eight No. 1 for Miss. Lynn. It spent a grand total of thirteen weeks on the chart and only stayed in the peak position for one. Kenny O’Dell wrote the song and was initially nervous to have a song title that was used in different contexts and projects.
O’Dell took the track to Lynn’s publishing company head Bill Haynes. They presented it to her and she fell in love with it.
- Album: They Don’t Make Em Like My Daddy
- Year: 1974
- Standout lyric: “There’s trouble but there won’t be long / ‘Cause in the morning it’ll all be gone”
“Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’
Lola Jean Dillon wrote “Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’ Tonight).” Dillon was a fan of Lynn and wanted to pitch her a song. After previously pitching her company several songs and never heading back, she phoned a friend who was the secretary to Lynn’s producer at MCA Records. She put Lynn herself on the phone and the two chatted and became collaborators.
In 1975, Lynn recorded her song “When The Tingle Becomes A Chill,” which reached No. 2. She then signed Dillon to her Coal Miners Music Publishing company. Six months later, they recorded the No. 1 hit.
Lynn said of the song, “If that wasn’t a great jukebox song, somebody somewhere wasn’t listenin’ too good!”
- Album: Somebody Somewhere
- Year: 1976
- Standout lyric: “It must have all started with that darned old Late Show”
“She’s Got You”
Lynn released a Patsy Cline tribute record and her rendition reached No. 1. Dean Martin released a version entitled “He’s Got You.” Don McLean, Ruby and the Rednecks, Rosanne Cash, Ricky Van Shelton, LeAnn Rimes, Jimmy Buffett, Lee Ann Womack, Elvis Costello, and Rhiannon Giddens.
Patsy Cline records the Hank Cochran-penned song in 1961. The song was ahead of its time as it featured jazz, pop, and country all in one song. In 1962, Cline’s original version reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot C&W Sides chart. It also peaked at No. 3 on the all-genre Easy Listening chart.
- Album: I Remember Patsy
- Year: 1977
- Standout lyric: “I’ve got the records that we used to share / And they still sound the same as when you were here”
“Out of My Head and Back in My Bed”
“Out of My Head and Back in My Bed” is Lynn’s most recent No. 1. Peggy Forman penned the tune that stayed in the position for two weeks. The song was off of the album of the same name that marked her thirtieth release. The song and album were recorded in June of 1975 at Bradley’s Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
- Album: Out of my Head and Back in my Bed
- Year: 1977
- Standout lyric: “I want you out of my head / And back in my bed”