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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Waverly, TN

Waverly is a city in Humphreys County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 4,028 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Humphreys County.

Humphreys County Courthouse in Waverly

The city is situated in the Trace Creek Valley, just over 10 miles (16 km) east of the creek's confluence with the Kentucky Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River. The low ridges that "wall in" Waverly to the north and south represent the fringe of the western section of the Highland Rim.

Waverly is centered around the junction of U.S. Route 70, which connects the city to Nashville to the east and Memphis to the west, and State Route 13, which connects the city to Hurricane Mills and Interstate 40 to the south and the rural areas around Erin to the north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.1 km²), all of it land.


Historical Marker

THC marker in Waverly recalling the now-defunct town of Reynoldsburg. Waverly was established by Steven Pavatt as a stop along the stage coach road between Nashville and Memphis in the early 1800s. Pavatt was a fan of the author Sir Walter Scott, and named the community after Scott's Waverley Novels. When Humphreys County was created in 1803, Reynoldsburg, located northwest of Waverly along the Tennessee River, was chosen as the county seat. However, when county lands on the west bank of the Tennessee split off to become part of the newly-created Benton County in 1835, the Humphreys County seat was moved to Waverly, which had become the more central location in the county. A courthouse was built in 1836, and the town was officially incorporated in 1838.

Like most of Middle and West Tennessee, Waverly was staunchly pro-Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War. Humphreys County voted unanimously in favor of secession in 1861. Union troops occupied the town in 1863 to guard the railroad between White Bluff and Johnsonville (now Old Johnsonville), the latter being a Federal supply depot and transfer station. The Union troops managed to build a fort at the courthouse square, although they were constantly harassed by Confederate guerillas. On November 4, 1864, Confederate troops under Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked and destroyed the Federal depot in what became known as the Battle of Johnsonville.[6] The battle occurred approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Waverly at the mouth of Trace Creek.

Hurricane Mills, located a few miles south of Waverly along TN-13, was the site of a substantial mill and carding factory in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A Mississippian-era prehistoric village (known as the Duck River Temple Mounds) and a farm owned by Jesse James were both located near the Link farm site in the vicinity of Hurricane Mills.

On February 22, 1978, a propane tank car explosion occurred in downtown Waverly when an L&N train derailed. The explosion, which killed 16 people, led to an overhaul of the methods used by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency when responding to hazardous material spills.

Notable residents:

George Morgan
George Morgan (singer),

George Thomas Morgan (June 28, 1924 – July 7, 1975) was a mid-20th century country music singer.

Morgan was born to Zachariah "Zach" Morgan and Ethel Turner in Waverly, Tennessee but raised in Barberton, Ohio. He was, along with a few other contemporaries (most notably Eddy Arnold and Jim Reeves), referred to as a "country crooner", his singing style being far more similar to that of Bing Crosby or Perry Como than that of Ernest Tubb or Lefty Frizzell. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

George Morgan was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1948 and is best remembered for the Columbia Records song "Candy Kisses." which was a No.1 hit on the Billboard country music charts for three weeks in 1949. He also had several hits based on a "rose" theme, like Room Full of Roses, Red Roses for a Blue Lady, and Red Roses from the Blue Side of Town.

His daughter Lorrie Morgan is also a country music singer. Using modern technology, Lorrie recently recorded a duet with her late father entitled From This Moment On.

In 1974 George Morgan was the last person to sing on the stage of the Ryman auditorium before the Grand Ole Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House, A week later he was the first to sing on stage at the new Grand Ole Opry.

Morgan died of a heart attack after undergoing open heart surgery.

On his passing in 1975, he was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison, Tennessee.

The George Morgan Story

A fixture on the Grand Ole Opry from 1948 until his death in 1975, Country Music Hall of Fame member George Thomas Morgan possessed one of the smoothest voices in country music.

Born about fifty miles west of Nashville, Morgan moved a couple of years later with his family to Barberton, Ohio. At age eleven, he learned to play guitar, and he made early appearances on radio in Ohio at WAKR–Akron and WWST–Wooster. His career gathered momentum on the WWVA Jamboree in the 1940s.

In September 1948, Eddy Arnold decided to leave the Grand Ole Opry. Morgan, whose singing style was similar, joined the Opry on September 25, 1948, without benefit of a hit record. Columbia Records had signed Morgan just days before, on September 14, but due to the 1948 musicians’ strike he didn’t record until January 16, 1949.

Recorded at that first session, his composition “Candy Kisses” launched his recording career with a bang, eventually reaching #1 on the country charts. On April 30, 1949, Morgan accounted for half the listings on Billboard’s Country Top Ten chart. In addition to his three singles on the chart—“Candy Kisses” (#2), “Rainbow in My Heart” (#8) and “Please, Don’t Let Me Love You” (#9)—he was represented by covers of “Candy Kisses” by Elton Britt (#8) and Red Foley (#10).

That first year proved to be his biggest on the charts, with six singles ultimately hitting the Top Ten in 1949. Of these, “Room Full of Roses” (#4, 1949) was Morgan’s only record to cross over onto the pop charts (#25).

Morgan left the Opry in 1956 to host a TV show at Nashville station WLAC but returned to the Opry in 1959 and remained a popular presence there until his death. After seventeen years with Columbia, Morgan left the label in 1965. He moved on to the Starday and Stop labels, and then Decca/MCA in 1971, where he scored his biggest hit in years with “Red Rose from the Blue Side of Town” (#21, 1973–1974). His last recordings were made for Four Star.

In 1973 Morgan watched proudly when youngest daughter Lorrie Morgan made her Opry debut. Sadly, George Morgan died not long after his fifty-first birthday, from complications following open-heart surgery. Through the wonders of electronics, a posthumous father-daughter duet, “I’m Completely Satisfied With You,” charted briefly in 1979. - Walt Trott

- Adapted from the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s Encyclopedia of Country Music, published by Oxford University Press.


Humphreys County was originally a part of the great Tennessee County of North Carolina, formed in 1788, with Clarksville as the County Seat. In 1796, the year that Tennessee became a state, Tennessee County was divided into Robertson and Montgomery Counties and gave its name to the state. A further division of Montgomery County in 1801 created Stewart County from which Humphreys County was created in 1803. Reynoldsville was the first county seat. Wavelry became the county seat when Benton County was erected, largely from territory that was previously included in Humphreys County.


On the earliest maps of the county,the present site of Waverly is marked Pavatts. It was possibly a stage stop on the old stageroad. The town was named Waverly by Steven C.Pavatt,who named it Waverly as he was a great admirer of the Waverly novels by Sir Walter Scott.

Waverly was incorporated in 1838.Commissioners were appointed to reserve an area in the center of town for a courthouse. A courthouse was built on this spot in 1836.A second and larger courthouse was built on this spot at a later date and stood for forty years until November 1876 when it was destroyed by fire during the setting of the Circuit Court. As the fire occurred during the daytime the records were saved. A third courthouse was built on the same spot and it to was destroyed by fire on June 10, 1898. The fire burned all record books and files of papers except the land deed records which were in a fireproof vault. The fourth courthouse was built in 1899 and demolished in 1951 and 1952 to make way for the fifth and present courthouse. One other important event in the history of Waverly was a fire in 1911 when the main downtown buildings burned.

Located south of Waverly is a small area of beautiful homes and a mill known as Hurricane Mills. Hurricane Mills is dominated by an old mill and dam that stretched across Hurricane Creek. The mill and dam were constructed sometime around 1895 by James T Anderson. A carding factory was in the area 30 years ago and made old-fashioned jeans.


On June 8,1861 Humphreys County voted 1,042-0 for secession. Federal troops were in the county to build the railroad from White Bluff to Johnsonville between October 22,1863 and May 10,1864. These troops consisted of the 12th and 13th U.S.Infantry. A fort was built on the court square and was later moved to a position on Fort Hill. This was manned by the 1st Kansas Battery and the 8th Iowa Calvary whose sole purpose was to guard the railroad. This area described as having a high amount of guerilla warfare. One Major of a Federal Patrol from Clarksville is quoted as having said "Waverly is a cesspool of guerilla warfare and should be wiped off the face of the earth."

At around the same time in the vicinity of Hurricane Mills the Federal troops had built a stockade. In July of 1863 there was an attack on this stockade which resulted in several deaths.

The main action of the county occurred in Johnsonville. Johnsonville was being used as a storage area for Federal Supplies left there by Federal boats to be loaded on the train and taken to Nashville. A Confederate Infantry and gun battery led by N.B.Forrest attacked the troops guarding these supplies. They destroyed 95,000 tons of supplies, 4 gunboats, 14 steamboats, 17 barges, and killed many men and captured 150. Forrest lost two men and had 9 wounded before marching away as Federal reinforcements arrived. Johnsonville was rebuilt but never became important again during the war.


Reynoldsburg,a small town once located four miles northwest of here where Dry Creek enters the Tennessee River, was first settled in 1800-1805. By an act of the Legislature on October 25, 1811, provisions were made for a permanent seat of justice for Humphreys County.

The site of Reynoldsburg was chosen for the county seat because the Nashville and Memphis stage ran through it and crossed the Tennessee River at this point. Reynoldsburg grew to importance as a town along the river. It became the trading center and shipping point for the rich river bottom plantation lands. At its peak, Reynoldsburg missed being chosen capital city of Tennessee by only three general assembly votes. The County Seat was moved to Waverly in 1835 and Reynoldsburg's business died. Soon after it fell completely when travel and railroad routes switched locations.


New Johnsonville

New Johnsonville is the product of an older town once in this area. This town was Johnsonville. It was located about 11 miles west of this road sign on the Tennessee River. Johnsonville was laid out and plotted in 1864. The town was named Andrew Johnson after he rode from Nashville to the river on the first passenger train in the area. Andrew Johnson was then military governor of Tennessee. It is known the town became important during the Civil War only to decline after the war. Johnsonville was a constant struggle with nature as it was frequently flooded by the river. The record height of these floods was recorded in the spring of 1897 when the river reached 48.1 feet of water which was eighteen feet above flood stage. The town of Johnsonville was permanently covered with water when a dam was built across the river at Gilbertville, Kentucky in the mid-forties. The present site of New Johnsonville then sprung up on higher land near the railroad.

Welcome To New Johnsonville

Welcome to New Johnsonville, TN.

We would like to personally welcome you to New Johnsonville, TN. The city of New Johnsonville is nestled along the shores of the beautiful Kentucky Lake. Local residents, visitors and tourists enjoy many activities along the river including boating, fishing and skiing. During the off-season, the river is a haven for hunting deer, duck and turkey, as well as sauger fishing. The City of New Johnsonville is also proud of its many industries, offering many jobs to the area. The current population of the city according to the 2000 census is 1,906.

Jessie James

Jesse James,or Mr.John D. Howard as he was known locally,lived in this area for about two years. he rented a farm from W.H.Link in 1877. He was considered to be a good farmer by local people. None of the local people had any idea of his shocking past. Besides a good farmer he was also a horse racer. His horse was named Red Fox and was entered in local races which he always won.

The original house of Jesse James is long since gone but two small graves can be seen in what was then the backyard. The grave stones are believed to have been carved by him and have been identified as the final resting places for his twins who were believed to have been about a week old when they passed away.

Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw in the border state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. After his death, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West, although his robberies benefited only him and his band. Recent scholarship places him in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the American Civil War rather than a manifestation of the frontier.

Area Attractions

Music on the Square North Court Square in Waverly

Live professional musical groups every Saturday night June, July and August, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. downtown Waverly Court Square. There is no charge for admission. Bring your own lawn chair.

Mi-De-Ga Theatre

The Mi-De-Ga Theatre is located on the Square in Waverly. The walk in theatre is family owned and operated since September 9, 1936. More Information

Waverly Explosion Memorial Caboose,Waverly.

Memorial tribute to the 1978 tragic train explosion in Waverly. Memorabilia housed in a real caboose. Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Valley Drive-In Theatre,

Drive In Movie Theatre

Highway 70 West, Waverly, is one of the very few drive-in movie theatre's left. Valley-In Theatre is opened seasonally from April thru October. More Information

Humphrey's County Museum and Civil War Fort features a military room with memorabilia from all wars, Extensive collection of Indian artifacts situated on an old Civil War fort site complete with existing rifle pits. The fort was built to protect and keep open a supply railroad to the Union army in Tennessee during the Civil War.

THE Nolan House Bed and Breakfast, placed on the National Historic Register in 1986, is a charming Victorian bed and breakfast inn built in 1870, and renovated in the mid-1980. Complete with family cemetery and hiking trail.

Loretta Lynn Ranch

Loretta Lynn Campground
Loretta Lynn's Ranch and Campground, located just off I-40 features camping, cabin rentals, canoeing, fishing, hiking trails, western town, gift shop and Loretta and Mooney's century old plantation home,

Welcome To Hurricane Mills

Home of Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn's Ranch offers an exciting combination of the past and present. Just a short drive from Interstate 40,you can tour the home of the Living Legend,Loretta Lynn. Many items from Loretta's performances are on display as well as Mooney's legendary "Golden Eagle Jeep" as seen in the movie Coal Miners Daughter. The Lynns have preserved the old mill at Hurricane Mills as Loretta's museum, containg the memories of one of the most awarded female vocalists in country music.

Historical Marker

Butcher Hollow House

The recreated Butcher Hollow House and simulated coal mine gives us a glimpse of Loretta's childhood in Kentucky. You will find an entire western town here, complete with authentic tools, machinery, post office and gift shops. Loretta performs at several concerts during the summer at the ranch. Visitors are welcome to fish, canoe, or enjoy one of trail rides or biking trails. The ranch is host to the National Motor Cross Championships and the National American Indian Assocition Pow Wow much more.
Loretta Lynn

Hello, Friends!

I sure do hope this here letter finds all of you enjoying good weather and fun times with your family! My grand babies sure are enjoying being out of school now, and they pop in to say hello to their Meemaw. I love 'em and it's so good to see more of them now since they are home on summer vacation.

I really had a great time at my first ranch concert recently. Seeing all of you there makes it all like seeing family again. Recognizing so many of you at each concert truly warms my heart. These concerts at the ranch are always the best since we never know what we're gonna do, or sing. It's like all of us just get together to sing a few songs together, laugh, and have fun! It was a great surprise to have Mark Lawry to come and sing, too! I love Mark, and really enjoy seeing him perform. He's one of the funniest guys I know, and you never know what he's going to say. I hope he will come back and see us again, too!

Our concert the night before, in Pigeon Forge was so much fun, and the crowd was too amazing. I love performing there, and get to see my family that lives up that way, too. We all get to catch up the family news when we get together, since we are all busy.

I've been spending time at home working on my songs. I am really enjoying my new music room at the ranch. I just go over there, lock the door, and write. It's so funny that everyone around here knows not to disturb me when I'm writin'. They don't want to see "the squaw on the warpath"! We've gotten a lot of songs done and are working on many more right now. I have had a great time writing with Shawn Camp, too. He's the boy that wrote, "Loretta Lynn's Lincoln". Friends, Shawn is the sweetest, most down to earth guy, you'd ever know. I love him. His talents sure do amaze me, too! I can't wait for all of y'all to hear the things we've been working on.

I was so proud to get our new tribute to Johnny and June Carter Cash up in my museum! I could not have done that if it were not for John Carter and his sweet wife Laura. I love them so, and so proud of both of 'em. I sure do hope y'all will come and see it soon! While you're there, you'll have to go in the boutique and see my new museum t-shirts I designed! I just thought that we already have shirts for the concerts and for the ranch, so I wanted one special for my museum, too. I picked out one of my pictures taken when I first became a member of the Opry, and I'm wearing the dress I wore when I first went on that Ryman stage!

I am looking forward to returning to Texas next week. Texas sure holds dear to this heart since when I first started singing, me and Jay Lee, my brother performed in every honky tonk, Texas had! Those days sure are different, especially with doing all those one night shows and traveling all piled up in a car, to get to each place. Still, friends, we had a great time!

I will be going up to New York City right after we get back. I found out I'm being inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame! That is such a great honor for this Kentucky girl! I have always loved to write songs and getting this, for my songwriting makes it even more special. I've always just wrote about real life, and that came easy to me. Anyone that knows me and my shows knows Doo was my best inspiration for most of these songs!

But Friends, I want you all to know each of you are my best inspiration to do what I love most. That is getting on my bus and coming out to see you to sing! It don't get much better than that! Hopefully we will be near you soon so we can see you again, too!

It's time for me to close this note so I can get busy around here. I wanted to write to say hello, and tell y'all I love you. You all are in my thoughts and prayers, just as our boys and girls out there protecting our freedom, too. Please remember these great individuals, always!

Love you,

Loretta Lynn

Loretta and Mooney established “THE DUDE RANCH” in 1972 consisting of a small Campground, Loretta’s original Museum which was located in the Old Grist Mill, Western Store and Gift Shop.

Loretta Lynn

Today, “Loretta Lynn’s Ranch” is complete with a Full Service RV Park, Cabin Rentals, Swimming Pool, Playgrounds, Canoeing, Paddle Boats and Mini-Theater. Tours are offered thru the Lynn’s Plantation Home, Simulated Coal Mine and Loretta’s Butcher Holler Home Place. In 2001 Loretta opened the doors to her 18,000 square foot “Coal Miners Daughter Museum” which is a must to see. The Old Grist Mill houses Loretta’s Doll and Fan Museum as well as the Grist Mill Museum is available to her guests at no admission charge. Retail Stores include Loretta’s Western Store, Grist Mill Gift Shop, Tee Shirt Shop, Plantation Shop, Snack Bar, Rock-A-Billy CafĂ© and Lady Loretta’s Boutique. Special Events at the Ranch include Concerts, Loretta Lynn Bi-Annual Trail Rides, Off Road Trail Rides, Cross Country Racing, The Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship, GNC Championship with additional events scheduled throughout the season.

Van Lear Rose Number #1 Album

For over four decades now, Loretta has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful—and as culturally significant—as any female performer you’d care to name. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike. The Coal Miner’s Daughter—the tag refers to a hit single, an album, a best-selling autobiography, an Oscar-winning film, and to Lynn herself—has journeyed from the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville superstardom to her current status as an honest-to-goodness American icon.

Her latest album, the Jack White-produced Van Lear Rose, is poised now to remind the world yet again of Lynn’s power as a vocalist and her skill as a songwriter. As she puts it on “Story of My Life,” the new album’s closing track: “Not half bad for this ol’ KY girl, I guess... Here’s the story of my life. Listen close, I’ll tell it twice.”

Loretta was born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, the second of Clara and Ted Webb’s eight children. Just as she would later sing in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Loretta’s family eked out a living during the Depression on the “poor man’s dollar” her father managed to earn “work{ing] all night in the Van Leer coal mine [and] all day long in the field a-hoein’ corn.” As she also notes in that song, “I never thought of leavin’ Butcher Holler.” But that was before she met Oliver Lynn (aka Doolittle or Doo, or “Mooney” for moonshine), a handsome 21-year-old fresh from the service who swept the young Loretta Webb off her feet. The couple married when Loretta was barely 14.

Looking for a future that didn’t require him to work the mines, Doo found work in Custer, Washington, and Loretta joined him in 1951. The following decade found Lynn a full-time mother—four kids by the time she began singing seriously in 1961—of precisely the sort she would one day sing to and for. In her spare time, though, with Doo’s encouragement, she learned to play the guitar and began singing in the area. During one televised talent contest in Tacoma, hosted by Buck Owens, Loretta was spotted by Norm Burley who was so impressed he started Zero Records just to record her.

Before long, Loretta and Doo hit the road cross-country, stopping every time they spotted a country radio station to push her first Zero release, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” By the time they reached Nashville, the record was a. minor hit and Loretta found work cutting demos for the publishing company of Teddy and Doyle Wilburn. One of these, Kathryn Fulton’s “Biggest Fool of All,” caught the ear of Decca Records producer Owen Bradley. He thought the song would be perfect for Brenda Lee, but the Wilburns worked a deal—you can have the song if you record Loretta. Soon, Loretta was in the studio cutting sides with Bradley, producer at the time not only for Lee but Patsy Cline, Bill Anderson, and Webb Pierce.

At this early stage of her career, Loretta was greatly influenced by Kitty Wells, the groundbreaking “girl singer” who turned the tables on several decades worth of male double standards with the 1952 classic, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels.” Like Kitty’s, Loretta’s delivery on “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” was twangy and nasal, rhythmically straight up and down, plainspoken and emotionally understated. Such a down-home vocal style was Loretta’s birthright; it was more or less the way she had sang back in Kentucky, it was the style she took with her to Washington, and it was a vocal approach particularly well-suited to the duet sides she soon made in Nashville with honky-tonk legend Ernest Tubb. (“Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be,” from 1964, was the pair’s first and biggest hit.)

Working with Bradley in Nashville, however, Lynn quickly fell under the musical spell of new friend Patsy Cline. Patsy’s distinctive style, marked by dramatic slides, growls and crescendos, was more modern and “pop” sounding than that of Wells’ and the other female country singers of the day. It’s not surprising then that “Success,” the 1962 single that became Loretta’s first Top Ten hit (and that was later covered by Elvis Costello on his Almost Blue album) showcased Loretta in a full-throated, string-backed setting that’s more than a little reminiscent of Patsy Cline.

Out of these influences, Lynn soon fashioned her distinctive style—a mature fusion of twang, grit, energy and libido—an approach she first perfected in the songs of other writers. In “Wine, Women, and Song,” “Happy Birthday,” and “Blue Kentucky Girl,” each a Top Ten hit in 1964, Loretta played a plucky young woman who alternated between waiting for her wayward man to walk back in the door and threatening to walk out herself.

Such hits were early hints of Loretta’s undeniably strong female point of view—a perspective unique at the time both to country music specifically and to pop music generally and a trend in her music that became further pronounced as she began to write more of her own songs. In her first self-penned song to crack the Top Ten, 1966’s “Dear Uncle Sam,” Loretta presented herself as a woman who was going to fight to keep what was important to her, even if that meant questioning the wisdom of her government. Indeed, “Dear Uncle Sam” was among the very first recordings to recount the human costs of the Vietnam War. “Doo encouraged me to write that one,” she recalls today. “I was wondering what it would be like to have someone over there and what I would do if I did.” (The song made a return to Lynn’s live sets with the coming of the Iraq war.)

Over the next few years, Loretta wrote a string of hits unprecedented for their take-no-crap women narrators. In “You Ain’t Woman Enough (to Take My Man)” [#2, 1966], “Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ on Your Mind)” [#1, 1967], and “Fist City” [#1, 1968], among others, Loretta presented a new character on the country scene: a woman unafraid to stand up for herself, just like real women did. Drawing upon her own experiences as a harried young wife and mother, and upon a homespun sense of humor at once both pointed and hilarious, Loretta issued warnings to soused and philandering hubbies everywhere—and to the female competition—that she was not to be trifled with. In her words, “You better close your face and stay out of my way if you don’t wanna go to Fist City.”

[Note: As on most of Lynn’s biggest solo hits, the studio band for the above numbers included members of Nashville’s famed A-Team: guitarist Grady Martin, six-string electric bassist Harold Bradley, bass player Junior Huskey, pianist Floyd Cramer, drummer Buddy Harman, and pedal steel guitarist Hal Rugg.]

As the ‘60s turned into the ‘70s, Lynn forever solidified her reputation as an advocate for ordinary women. Typically, Loretta’s brand of women’s liberation was attuned specifically to the lives of her blue-collar audience, the wives and mothers who were far too overwhelmed by the demands of, say, childcare to place much stock in symbolic foolishness like bra burning. Indeed, while a guest on The Dick Frost Show, Loretta once famously dozed off while listening to the upper-middle class feminist Betty Freidan talk theory with the show’s host.

Loretta was more interested in life as it was lived—in the kitchen and in the bedroom--by millions of working-class women everyday. For example, “One’s on the Way,” a Shel Silverstein-penned hit from 1971, let Lynn voice the concerns of a harried Topeka woman, worn out from raising her kids, cleaning the house, and dealing with a husband with enough free time to be calling her from a bar while she’s home making dinner.
But it was with her own songs that Loretta best conveyed the complexity of women’s lives. In “I Wanna Be Free,” Loretta reveled in the possibilities a divorce might bring (“I’m gonna take this chain from around my finger, and throw it just as far as I can sling ‘er”), while in “Rated X” she complained that new divorcees were inevitably treated like easy women. In “I Know How,” she boasted of her sexual prowess; in “When the Tingle Becomes a Chill,” she bemoaned the loss of desire that accompanies a bad marriage; and in “The Pill,” a record banned by many radio stations in its day, she captured perfectly the power of birth control to let women love without the passion-dowsing fear of pregnancy: “The feelin’ good comes easy now since I’ve got the pill!”

Each of the above songs was a Top Three country hit between 1968 and 1975, and Loretta Lynn (to paraphrase the title of a 1970 album) both wrote ‘em and sang ‘em. The same was true, of course, of her signature song, the 1970 chart- topper “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which chronicled for all time the strides women were making in these years—from country to city, from home to workforce and, in Lynn’s case, from “girl-singer” to superstar.

The immense popularity of these songs, as well as other straight-shooting hits like “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath,” “Women of the World (Leave My World Alone)," and “You’re Looking at Country,” culminated in 1972 when Lynn won her second Best Female Vocalist award from the Country Music Association—and when she became the first woman to win the CMA’s most prestigious award, Entertainer of the Year.

It didn’t hurt that sprinkled among her many solo hits was a series of amazing collaborations between Loretta and her dear friend, singer Conway Twitty. Indeed, Loretta also won her first Vocal Duo of the Year award in 1972, with Conway, a title the team held onto through 1976. (And this in the years when the duet competition annually included Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton and George Jones & Tammy Wynette!) The pair’s close harmony style and dramatic song selections—especially, “After the Fire Is Gone,” “Lead Me On,” “As Soon As I Hang up the Phone,” and “Feelin’s”—explored adult romantic relationships as wrenchingly as any records ever made.

Through the next decade, Loretta scored more and more hits—and became more and more famous beyond her country base. In 1973, she appeared on the cover of Newsweek; in 1976 her autobiography (written with journalist George Vescey) became a New York Times Bestseller; in 1980 the book was made into a hit film starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. By the time of her last major hit—”I Lie,” in 1982—Lynn could count 52 Top 10 hits and 16 #1’s.

Loretta Lynn spent the ‘90s largely away from the spotlight, caring for her ailing husband Doo and, after he died in 1996, grieving his loss. The music scene has changed considerably in her absence but it’s also a scene she helped create. Indeed, it would be all but impossible to imagine the likes of Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” and Deana Carter’s “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” or any number of Dixie Chicks hits, without her. Van Lear Rose, with its moody, propulsive arrangements, loud and rocking guitars and intimate songwriting, can only extend Lynn’s profound influence into a new century—and to a new generation of fans.

The Buffalo River offers scenic canoeing suitable for the beginner and the more advanced canoeist.

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, Duck River Unit, near New Johnsonville provides a safe haven for winter waterfowl, and migrating shorebirds. Wildlife observation, boat ramps, and fishing and hunting in season. The refuge is over 52,000 acres on three locations.

Johnsonville State Historic Area, a 550 acre park on the eastern side of Kentucky Lake, overlooks the site of the Civil War Battle of Johnsonville. Museum, hiking trails, and picnic area with tables and grills.

Blue Creek Nature Center, a 42 acre facility two miles south of Waverly, offers hiking and jogging trails, bicycling and ATV riding (organized rides only). Picnic under the open pavilion or just sit back and relax.

Humphreys County

The Tennessee River and Kentucky Lake borders the western side of Humphreys County and creates a sportsman's paradise with the abundance of boating, fishing, skiing or hunting.

USS Nautilus

US Navy County Seat: Waverly

Tennessee has produced its share of naval heroes. One of them is William Robert Anderson, who was born in Humphreys County in 1921. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Anderson was the commanding officer of the USS Nautilus, the world’s first atomic-powered submarine. In 1958 the Nautilus, under his command, left Hawaii heading north and didn’t stop until it landed in England – thus becoming the first vessel to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic by way of the North Pole. “For our world, our county, and the Navy – the North Pole!” Anderson told his crew. Anderson later represented Tennessee in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1964 until 1972.

Johnsonville during the Civil War

National Archives Speaking of the navy: Only once in recorded world history has an army of cavalry (soldiers on horses) defeated a naval force. This Confederate victory, known as the Battle of Johnsonville, took place in Humphreys and Benton counties, and the sites of the battle are preserved at the Johnsonville State Historic Park and Nathan Bedford