This was once the commissary for the Van Lear Mines, was shown in Loretta’s movie, Coal Miner’s Daughter, and later owned by the Webb family, related to Loretta.

By Jim Freeman

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – It was years before I met Loretta Lynn though I had been playing her songs on the radio since I was a teenager. The two Loretta highlights for me are that the radio station where I worked in Louisville was very involved in the premiere of her movie, and I had the opportunity to do a story from her Butcher Hollow (Holler) home place and became friends with one of her brothers, Herman.

It was 1980, and they were all there at the Showcase Cinemas, a stone’s throw from my condo off Bardstown Road. Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek, even Governor John Y. Brown and wife Phyllis George were there, and, of course, Loretta and Doo appeared at the packed theatre complex. The crowd roared during the showing when WINN was mentioned in the movie, the Louisville radio station where I worked in those days.

Jim Freeman (left) with Herman Webb, younger brother of Loretta Webb Lynn.

About 20 years later, I had the pleasure of doing a television story on Herman (watch HERE) from Loretta’s homeplace, Butcher Hollow. Lynn’s brother, Herman Webb, was the caretaker of the tiny frame home that sits on the side of the hill of the hollow. Herman lived just down the hollow from there. He passed away in 2018.

A promise was delivered when Carl Pierce (right) met up with Herman Webb at Loretta Lynn’s homeplace. Carl died less than a year later in 2016, and we lost Herman in 2018.

In November 2015, I honored a years long promise to the now late Carl Pierce. Carl had heard my stories of Herman and Loretta’s home place and made me promise I’d take him to Butcher Hollow. I am so glad I was able to keep that promise. It was quite the day. We left early on a chilly Saturday morning and didn’t make it back from Johnson County until dark. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/05/2022-6AM)

3 Replies to “The news of Loretta Lynn’s death stirs a lot of memories for an old disc jockey”

  1. That’s awesome, Jim! Great story. I have good memories of Carl Pierce also. He was quite a character ☺

  2. Jim, thanks for sharing this. Loretta Lynn was one of the all-time greats! She never changed and she made “Butcher Holler” famous!

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