Loretta Lynn, Honky Tonk Girl: The Loretta Lynn Collection

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 05.21.12 in Reviews

Honky Tonk Girl: The Loretta Lynn Collection

Loretta Lynn

She’s not kidding about the title: The First Lady of Country Music has stuck so closely to the honky-tonk musical template that 62 of these 70 tracks, spanning 1960-88, are under three minutes long. (The first time she crosses the 180-second barrier is halfway through the box: 1970′s epochal, autobiographical “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”) Even so, she’s also one of country’s great innovators, on the strength of the sharp, funny, overtly feminist lyrics in her own songs and the songs she’s covered. Pretty much all of Lynn’s substantial solo hits are here, as well as a handful of her duets with Ernest Tubb and Conway Twitty.