This is kind of a guilty pleasure post. I'm not a big fan of commercial country radio -- because the formula is, well, so much of a formula. Although I don't listen to modern country radio much, when I do, it seems to have kind of pop station mentality, playing the same kind of hits all day long. And they don't play many, if any, of the tons of great alt-country / folk / alt-folk / Americana songs that are the mainstay of what I love. I mean, John Prine on country radio these days? Nah. Hayes Carll? No. Even Emmylou Harris? Nope.
But there are some very good country artists who regularly appear on commercial country radio. Loretta Lynn certainly was one of those artists. (Maybe she still gets some time on FM country radio, but I doubt it.) And her classic Coal Miner's Daughter is one of the great country songs of all time. We could just feature Loretta Lynn in this post. But I stumbled upon a video of a group of "Women of Country" singing Coal Miner's Daughter. And, although it was a made-for-TV presentation, the seven featured women do a compelling version of Coal Miner's Daughter, and it gives us a chance to hear a bunch of modern (or at least modern-ish), well, Women of Country.
The seven women are (left to right in the video):
* Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland fame. Her twangy voice and infectious smile make her a star on stage.
* Miranda Lambert, a native Texan, who was married to (and now divorced from) Blake Shelton, who seems to have trouble cracking a smile. But her strong Southern drawl and beautiful voice, along with her beauty queen good looks, have made her one of the most popular country singers.
* Reba McEntire, who is one of the most successful recording artists in country music, and who has become an icon in the contemporary country music world.
* Martina McBride, who seems like a young country singer, but is actually now 50 years old, and who is a serious country pop star, with a ton of chart-toppers and country music awards.
* Carrie Underwood, who is probably the most successful of all of the American Idol winners, and who has shown that she's a whole lot more than her blonde hair and good looks. She has sold millions of records as a crossover pop / country star.
* Naomi and Wyonna Judd (The Judds), the mother-daughter team, who are among the most successful duos in country music history. Wyonna continues today as a solo artist.
Coal Miner's Daughter is an autobiographical song written in 1969 by Loretta Lynn. It was a chart-topper in 1970, and is considered one of the greatest country songs ever written. Loretta Lynn then went on to write an autobiography, also called Coal Miner's Daugher, in 1976, and the book was then made into a movie, starring Silly Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, in 1980.
So, to honor Loretta Lynn and hear the "Women of Country" sing this classic country song, here are Jennifer Nettles, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, and The Judds (Naomi and Wyonna) doing a made-for-TV version of Coal Miner's Daughter. And then, just to round out this post, here's Loretta Lynn singing Coal Miner's Daughter way back in 1971. Pretty cool.