Loretta Lynn Honors Her Late Husband on Their Anniversary: 'He’s the Only Man I Ever Loved'

Country music singer Loretta Lynn gets a hug from her husband, Oliver "Mooney" Lynn, during rehearsal for her New York debut, Thursday, Oct. 21, 1982. Lynn will perform at the Majestic Theatre for the benefit of the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. (AP Photo/Antonio Carozza)

Loretta Lynn celebrated what would've been her 73rd wedding anniversary to Oliver Lynn (also known as Doolittle, Doo and Mooney) on Jan. 10 with a video of herself performing the song "I Can't Hear the Music."

"Today would be our 73rd anniversary," Lynn captioned the Instagram post. "I can't believe it's been that long. We fought hard and we loved hard. He was my biggest fan and the real force behind my career. He's the only man I ever loved. I miss you, Doo."

The autobiographical song's from Lynn's 2000 album Still Country. The Lynn, Kendal Franceschi and Cody James co-write celebrates Oliver's memory with such lines as: "He always told me the truth/ No matter how hard it was to hear. When he said, 'I believe in you'/ It was music to my ears."

The couple wed when the former Loretta Webb was still a teenager. As covered in the Oscar-winning film Coal Miner's Daughter, Oliver met his future bride in Butcher Hollow (pronounced "Butcher Holler"), Kentucky at a pie social.

After marriage, the couple relocated to Custer, Washington to position Oliver for better work opportunities. That's where he would gift 21-year-old Loretta with a guitar. An ideal love story didn't exactly unfold from there, as Oliver's drinking and cheating inspired some of Loretta's best-known hits, including "Fist City," "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" and "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)."

"I married Doo when I wasn't but a child, and he was my life from that day on," Loretta wrote in her 2002 autobiography, Still Woman Enough. "But as important as my youth and upbringing was, there's something else that made me stick to Doo. He thought I was something special, more special than anyone else in the world, and never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door. Doo was my security, my safety net. And just remember, I'm explainin', not excusin'."

The couple remained together as Loretta went from one of Nashville's top country singer-songwriters to a pop culture superstar and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Along the way, Loretta changed the face of country music through close-knit friendships (her well-chronicled relationship with Patsy Cline), controversial hits ("The Pill"), memorable duets (namely with fellow country stars Ernest Tubb, Willie Nelson and Conway Twitty), career resurgences (her work with Jack White) and major awards (in 1972, she became the first woman to win the CMA Awards' Entertainer of the Year honors).

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Oliver died on Aug. 22, 1996, just five days before his 70th birthday. His death was attributed to diabetes-related health problems and heart failure. He was buried on the Lynn family estate in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

The couple had six children together: twins Patsy and Peggy (named for Loretta's sister, Peggy Sue Wright) plus Clara Marie (Cissy), Ernest Ray, Betty Sue and Jack Benny Lynn.

Tommy Lee Jones played Oliver in Hollywood blockbuster Coal Miner's Daughter, opposite Sissy Spacek's role as Loretta.


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Loretta Lynn Honors Her Late Husband on Their Anniversary: 'He’s the Only Man I Ever Loved'