Loretta Lynn is an American icon, having earned four Grammy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has sold more than 45 million records worldwide. Named, “The Queen of Country Music,” Loretta Lynn will be the subject of the new documentary American Masters – Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl, premiering Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. on PBS during Women’s History Month.
The doc will be part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series. The world premiere broadcast is the same day as the release of Lynn’s first new studio album in over 10 years, Full Circle (Legacy Recordings).
With unprecedented access to Lynn, her family and archives, Still a Mountain Girl features never-before-seen home movies, performances and photos, as well as insightful interviews with her friends and fellow musicians, including Jack White (producer of Lynn’s Grammy-winning album Van Lear Rose), Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert and Bill Anderson. The documentary also features never-before-seen footage of Lynn in the studio with producer John Carter Cash, as she records Full Circle and other new songs at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn. Filming with Lynn, her family and business team also took place at her ranch and other locations in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., the community she formed as a re-creation of her Appalachia birthplace, Butcher Hollow, Ky., where she was raised in poverty. Other interviews include Sissy Spacek, who starred as Lynn in the Oscar-winning biographical film of her life, Coal Miner’s Daughter (based on Lynn’s 1976 autobiography), and its director Michael Apted.
American Masters – Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl explores Lynn’s hard-fought road to stardom, her struggles to balance her marriage to Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn and six children with her music career, her friendships and collaborations with Spacek, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and music producer Owen Bradley, along with her life on the road, her Nashville and Hurricane Mills communities, her songwriting inspirations and her music’s lasting impact on her peers and fans.
“She’s written anti-war anthems, songs about birth control, pregnancy and divorce, all with a sincerity and honesty that transcends music genres, politics and gender,” said executive producer Elizabeth Trojian of Yap Films Inc.
“You couldn’t make up a better example of the American Dream than Loretta Lynn’s astonishing rags-to-riches story. Her 48-year marriage to Doo and their rare partnership is also one of the great love stories of our times,” said executive producer Elliott Halpern of Yap Films Inc.
“You don’t have to know country music to love Loretta Lynn,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “Somehow the Lynn family makes you feel like there is a little country in all of us.”
“Being part of the American Masters series makes you feel like, “Hey, I really have accomplished something great,” said Lynn.
Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. The series’ 30th anniversary season on PBS features new documentaries about Mike Nichols (January 29), B.B. King (February 12), Carole King (February 19), Fats Domino (February 26), Janis Joplin (May 3) and The Highwaymen (May 27). To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website (pbs.org/americanmasters) offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, photos, educational resources and more. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.
American Masters – Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl is a production of Yap Films Inc. in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC’s American Masters for WNET, BBC Arena, and CBC’s documentary Channel. Vikram Jayanti is director. Elliott Halpern is executive producer. Elizabeth Trojian is executive producer and producer. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters.