Agony Shorthand

Saturday, April 16, 2005
MASTERPIECE : LORETTA LYNN "HELLO DARLIN'"......A simple Diet Pepsi purchase this week netted me one free song from the "iTunes store" online -- how about that? Where does one start? I thought about some favorite weepers from my LP collection that I don't have digitized yet & hit upon this selection, LORETTA LYNN's majestic version of the oft-covered "Hello Darlin'" . I think CONWAY TWITTY, who wrote it, is the one who popularized this template track of pure country music syrup, but his version comes nowhere near what Loretta does to it. In her hands, or vocal cords, this song is out-and-out heartbreak written in the boldest of bold type. Loretta's dumped her man, meets him again after a dozen-odd years, and postively chokes on how much she's dying to get together with him again. Yet at the end, she knows better & pushes the all-too-willing horndog away. Hey, we've all been there, right? She sings this with every ounce of feeling and sappy sentiment this music deserves, and if you've made your peace with this era (1960s) of country music hitmaking, you'll likely agree with me that this single track is one of the all-time greats. It's nestled onto her "Coal Miner's Daughter" collection, which is right this very second sitting in the 99-cent bin at your local thrift store.