Back in 1975, I started working at a legendary New York City radio station, WHN. It was country, it was on the AM dial, and it became a destination for music that couldn’t be heard anywhere else in the city. I did the evening show there for six years, six nights a week. On one quiet Saturday night in 1979, I was spinning George Jones and Conway Twitty and Glen Campbell and Don Williams, when the request line rang. Well actually, it lighted up, as phones don’t ring in studios. I have always enjoyed finding out what people were up to and taking requests. (A footnote: this is not always the case, for many jocks would put the phones on hold the minute they came in to work, and never answered them.) I punched into a call, and the voice on the other end identified herself as Loretta Lynn. She said she was in a sound stage in New York recording a Crisco® commercial, and that they had done several takes, but hadn’t gotten it right yet. She asked to take a break to speak to a friendly voice. She figured she would find one at the country station so there she was. We chatted companionably for several minutes. I was tickled to talk to her, she was legend even then. The impact she has had on popular music is immeasurable, especially in giving voice to female empowerment.
Loretta Lynn celebrated 50 years in the entertainment business in November. She has had a storied career, and is still immersed. If you haven’t heard her Van Lear Rose CD, produced by Jack White in 2004, you owe it to yourself to get your hands (or ears) on it.
Today’s Music Fog tune is a co-write, Loretta with Shawn Camp. The song is called “Dying For Someone To Live For,” an old school “twist of a phrase” country title if ever I have heard one. The two of them have been writing together for over a year. What a lucky boy Shawn is, not to mention how totally worthy. He is an exceptional troubadour, writer, and instrumentalist. Here is the Music Fog recording of it, a solo acoustic performance from Shawn, filmed last September during Nashville’s Americana Fest.
- Jessie Scott