Saturday, July 24, 2010



For me, Wildwood Flower will always be sung by the Carter Family, and after them June Carter Cash.

Written in 1860 by Maud Irving with music by Joseph Philbrick Webster, this legend has seen many variations, including some retooling by Woody Guthrie, the master of Joan Baez, Iris Dement; Merle Travis gave us an instrumental and so did Bill Frissell, plus Jean Ritchie, Hobart Smith, and even Mike Ness took it home, wherever.

Now we have Loretta Lynn with a mountain stream opening and her usual but ever genuine Butcher Holler Kentucky way of phrasing and keeping it honest.

Born the second of 8 children, Lynn married at 13 and stayed married 50 years to a man named Doolittle. Their lives at the start was portrayed by Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones in a film with the above title, directed by Michael Apted (1980). It is well known Lynn and Doolittle tusseled but, she said, "he never hit me one time that I didn’t hit him back twice."

Lynn, at age 75, has never stopped singing. Always this good.