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Loretta Lynn Fib Alters Country Music Folklore

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

I’m shocked, I tell you! Shocked!

Eh…I’ll get over it.

See, I’m already over it. But, honestly, Loretta Lynn fibbing about her age does change a big piece of country music folklore.

And, folklore’s a good word, I think, when describing country music history. The legends in this business like Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and countless others are such HUGE names, they’re almost like mythical folk heroes. Like Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed.

And, segments of their histories play like themes in great fiction–Hank Sr. dying in his car, George Jones driving his lawn mower down the road, Patsy’s tragic plane crash, and Loretta getting married at the age of 13.

Uh, yeah, about that last one. It ain’t true.

Universal Pictures

Yep, Loretta Lynn has been lying about her age. It seems the Associated Press obtained some records from the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort. These records list her date of birth as April 14, 1932…not 1935, as has long been believed.

Now, obviously this is not the kind of news that will bring down world governments. In fact, I think it makes her even more fun than she already was.

But that getting-married-at-13-and-a-mother-by-18 thing was a big part of her smash autobiography Coal Miner’s Daughter, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

So, Loretta is really 80 years old. She’s not 77. When she got married in January of 1948, she was 15, not 13. And she became a mother for the first time at the age of 20.

The record has been set straight.

You know something? I think it’s hilarious that she has kept her age a secret this long. There’s something about that that totally speaks to her personality.

Do we still love her?

Of course we do.

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