Chuck Stewart’s photography provided by Fireball Entertainment Group, courtesy of Chuck Stewart Photographs of John Coltrane, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Marianne Worthington is a poet, editor, and cofounder of Still: The Journal, an online magazine that publishes literary, visual, and musical artists with ties to the Appalachian region. She lives and teaches in Southeastern Kentucky.
In 1966, Loretta Lynn was anything but little. She had already released eight solo studio albums. Just one year later she would be the first woman in country music to achieve a certified gold album for Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind). But a “little girl singer” was not considered a true solo act. She was there to support and round out the male stars of a show. The “girl singer” moniker was used by her male colleagues and by emcees as a way to separate and diminish the achievements of women in the industry.