Loretta Lynn: Write Songs About Real Life

March 11, 2007 — -- Loretta Lynn, the first lady of country music, is about to become the coal miner's doctor. She's getting an honorary PhD this week from the Berklee College of Music for tackling serious issues with songs.

Lynn: When I started writing songs, I thought you should write about what life was. And a lot of people did think I was writing things I shouldn't write. Some of my records got banned.

When I came out with the song, "The Pill" … you know I didn't realize it was such a big deal. 'Cause every woman I knew, when I worked these clubs at night, would tell me that they were on the pill. So I thought … everybody was doing it. So I wasn't worried about it.

One lady told me, said, "Well, we go to church on Sunday, and our preacher preaches about how bad my records are, we go out and buy them on Monday, to see how bad you are." So that's how I got a lot of my fans.

If you put out a song that isn't life, nobody's gonna care for it. Because if nobody is livin' that life, how you gonna sell a record if it's just ring around the rosy? You gotta put your whole heart into a song. And that's what I did with every song that I wrote.