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Dec. 16: Once again we go back to the early ’60s, this time for a groundbreaking number by Loretta Lynn: the first song she recorded in Nashville (September 1961), beginning a 27-year stint with Decca/MCA Records; her first Top 10 Billboard hit (No. 6 in ’62); and the lead-off track on her first album, released 46 years ago today.

Lynn, an excellent and award-winning tunesmith, didn’t write this one. That was Johnny Mullins (“Company’s Coming,” “Blue Kentucky Girl”). Although she had penned most of her first recordings on the tiny Zero label, she wouldn’t have a big hit with one of her own compositions until 1966. Contrast the almost whiny attitude of the singer here with the feminism expressed in Lynn’s signature and self-written hits from later in the decade, like “Fist City” or “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind).”

Those are great records, but so is this. It began a string of Top 10s that placed Lynn — along with only Kitty Wells, Jean Shepard and Skeeter Davis — solidly in the ranks of female country stardom.

(It also includes another gem of a performance on steel guitar by the fabulous Don Helms. Add him to the list of folks who should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame but aren’t.)

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