Beloved country singer Loretta Lynn bid goodbye to the world on October 4 at the age of 90. The acclaimed music star released multiple albums that topped the charts, and was supported by her husband, Oliver Lynn, throughout her career.
Oliver acted as Loretta’s manager, after encouraging her to take up singing as a profession. The couple had six children together and stayed married till Oliver’s death in 1996. Here is everything we know about Loretta Lynn’s husband.
Who was Loretta Lynn’s husband, Oliver Lynn?
Oliver Lynn, often called Doolittle Lynn, was born on August 27, 1926. He was an Army veteran from Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, who took up a career as a music agent and served as Loretta’s manager. The couple met when Loretta was only 15 and Oliver was 21. They married each other on January 10, 1948, within a month of their first meeting.
Talking about her marriage, Loretta recalled in her autobiography in 2002, “I married Doo when I wasn’t but a child, and he was my life from that day on. But as important as my youth and upbringing were, 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.”
Oliver Encouraged Loretta to Pursue Singing
The couple relocated to Custer, Washington, a year after their wedding, when Loretta was pregnant with their first child. Oliver bought the future superstar her first guitar, a $17 Harmony, and motivated her to pursue singing by performing at local clubs.
Loretta then released her first single, I’m a Honky Tonk Girl, in 1960, and her husband toured with her around the country to promote the track. Oliver then started working as the singer’s manager and was eventually named the president of Loretta Lynn Enterprises Inc., a company formed to handle Loretta’s business and career.
Oliver Lynn was Accused of Cheating on Loretta
While the couple supported each other, their marriage was far from perfect, as Loretta admitted in her autobiography that her husband cheated on her multiple times. She also accused him of alcoholism and abuse, writing, “Doo was a good man and a hard worker. But he was an alcoholic, and it affected our marriage all the way through.”
“He was also a womaniser. Cheating husbands have been all over the news talk shows for a few years now. Lots of women say they don’t understand why women stay with them dogs. My story is about one who did—me,” she wrote further.
Loretta revealed in an interview that she stayed with her husband for the sake of her children. She had said, “He never hit me one time that I didn’t hit him back twice. I had to think of my kids. I can’t be that selfish. He broke my heart lots of time but that woulda broke the kids’ hearts, wouldn’t it?”
Oliver Passed Away in 1996
Oliver passed away on August 22, 1996, at the age of 69. He died of diabetes-related issues and heart failure. Before his death, Loretta shifted focus from her music career for five years to take care of her ailing husband.
After his death, Loretta said in an interview, “Yeah, I think I see him everywhere I’m at, and everything at home and everywhere I’m goin.” The couple had six children together: Betty Sue, Jack Benny, Ernie, Cissie, Peggy Jean, and Patsy Eileen. Jack Benny died in 1984 trying to cross a river, and Betty Sue died from Emphysema in 2013.
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