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Story Behind Loretta Lynn’s “Honky Tonk Girl”

Story Behind Loretta Lynn’s “Honky Tonk Girl”

Penned in 1960, Loretta Lynn wrote this song at the age of 24.  She’d been married for 11 years and already had four children.  She was outside, sitting up against the toilet in Washington State (yes – outside) with a $17 guitar she’d gotten as an anniversary gift. She wrote ‘(I’m A) Honky Tonk Girl’ in just 20 minutes. It was her first major hit.

In an interview with Paul Zollo, Loretta Lynn recounts the inspiration for the song:

“‘Honky Tonk Girl’ came from a lady who kept coming into the little club. Doo got me a job working for five dollars on Saturday nights, a little club. She came every time I worked. She told me that her husband had left her for another woman. She’d sit there and cry. She picked strawberries with me during the time when strawberries were ripe. And when strawberry picking was over, she kept coming to the club and crying. And I wrote ‘Honky Tonk Girl’ from that.”



Interview With Loretta Lynn:


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