Loretta Lynn just took today’s country music to Fist City, and is fighting mad about how their letting the roots and traditions of the genre die. In a new interview released January 30th on Martina McBride’s recently launched podcast called Vocal Point, Loretta Lynn pulled no punches in the 40-minute feature, letting everyone know just how she feels.
When asked by Martina McBride about how she felt the direction of country music was going right now, Loretta Lynn responded, “They’ve already let it [die]. I think it’s dead. I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame to let a type of music die. I don’t care what any kind of music it is. Rock, country, whatever. I think it’s a shame to let it die, and I’m here to start feeding it.”
McBride remarked how it appeared Loretta Lynn was getting mad about the subject, and the 87-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer responded, “Yeah. I’m getting mad about it. I am. Because it’s ridiculous. I think that they’re completely losing it. And I think that’s a sad situation because we should never let country music die. I think that every type of music should be saved, and country is one of the greatest. It’s been around, as far as I’m concerned, longer than any of it.”
As is often the case when legacy country artists go off about the state of country music today, it’s worth qualifying that within the ranks of independent country performers, there is still an incredible amount of talent, and artists looking to preserve the roots and traditions of country who look up to legends such as Loretta Lynn for inspiration and guidance. Mike and the Moonpies, Cody Jinks, Whitey Morgan, Charlie Marie, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, and dozens of others are trying to do their part to resurrect country music, though you won’t hear them on mainstream country radio, or see them winning awards. Often these country legends don’t even know about these independent performers.
But Loretta Lynn’s assessment is still relevant when it comes to what is happening in the mainstream, but even that deserves some qualifiers. Luke Combs and Jon Pardi (who’s poised to have the #1 song in country this upcoming week with “Heartache Medication”) are starting to help return some of the roots of country music’s past to the airwaves. The situation isn’t all bleak, but Loretta Lynn’s words help put a charge behind what many fans of country believe strongly: the genre has lost it’s direction, and needs to be turned around and resurrected to its past greatness and unique importance in culture by returning to its roots.