Celebrations: The Birthdays of Two Southern Icons

Jul 23 2012

by Whitney Long

This post was from April 2012:

The Southern C celebrates the birthdays of two iconic Southerners-

Happy Birthday to Eudora Welty and Loretta Lynn!

By Whitney Long

Born in Jackson, MS in 1909, Eudora Welty was a grande dame of the literary world and considered one of the most important authors of the 20th century. Though her novels and short stories were primarily about the American South, she is known and recognized throughout the world for her universal themes which had no geographical boundaries. She was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, many O. Henry Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to name just a few. But before she published any of her many short stories, she had a one-woman show of her photographs made in Mississippi in the early to mid-1930s. These photos showed the rural poor during the Great Depression. But more than that, they show the photographer’s wide-ranging curiosity and unstinting empathy—which would mark her work as a writer, too.

In Eudora’s words:

“Integrity can be neither lost nor concealed nor faked nor quenched nor artificially come by nor outlived, nor, I believe, in the long run, denied”

“Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.”

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”

Loretta Lynn, country singer, song-writer, musician and author was born on April 14th, 1934 in Butcher Hollow, KY. She got her first guitar for her 18th birthday from her husband and taught herself to play. In 1964, Lynn scored a string of top 10 country hits, including “Wine, Women, and Song” and “Blue Kentucky Girl.” Lynn reached the top of the country charts with “You Ain’t Woman Enough (to Take My Man)” in 1967 and that same year, won the award for Female Vocalist of Year from the Country Music Association. Continuing through the ’60s and ’70s, she ruled the charts, racking up over 70 hits and helped forge the way for strong, independent women in country music like Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson and Martina McBride.

Lynn shared her own personal experiences growing up in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which became a No. 1 country hit in 1970. The song told the story of her childhood and Lynn published her autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter, in the mid-’70s. In 1980, the book was adapted for the screen and ultimately made Lynn a household name with the American mainstream.

Watch some classic Loretta and some current Loretta:

You Ain’t Woman Enough

Don’t Come Home A’-Drinkin

Coal Miner’s Daughter with Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow

Portland, Oregon with Jack White

Eudora Portrait

Eudora’s photograph from Great Depression

Loretta Lynn Portrait


Whitney Long View More Blog Posts from this Author

Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit. Mama x 4, wife x 1. Entrepreneur, thinker, doer, writer, researcher, believer. Enjoys working alongside creative entrepreneurs to build community while supporting established and upcoming brands. Hobbies include travel, reading, bike rides and clever craft cocktails.

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