My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Loretta Lynn – ‘Your Squaw Is On The Warpath’

MI0003863545Loretta Lynn had released about a dozen albums by the time Your Squaw is on the Warpath was released in 1969. It was her first album released that year and saw her teaming up again with Owen Bradley and Decca Records.

Lynn either wrote or co-wrote four of the album’s songs. The title track, a top 5 hit she penned solo, is a classic. She also solely composed “Sneakin’ In,” a steel-drenched ballad about her cheating husband. She also co-wrote two ballads – “Let Me Go, You’re Hurting Me” and “He’s Somewhere Between You and Me” with Lorene Allen and Doyle Wilburn respectively.

The remainder of the album consists mainly of ballads. “Living My Lifetime for You” is flavorless and Teddy Wilburn’s “Taking The Place of my Man” benefits from the helping of Steel. The cover of Marty Robbins’ “I Walk Alone” has beautiful touches of piano throughout and a powerful vocal from Lynn.

The album’s other top five hit, “You Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out on Me)” has beautiful jaunty guitars and ribbons of Steel. I love the touches of piano, too, dated as they may be to today’s ears. Lynn takes the bull by the horns on “Harper Valley, P.T.A.,” although I cannot help but find her signing it a bit odd. She copes brilliantly but hardly fits the image of the wife in the lyric. The final number, Kaw-Liga, is a wonderful yet also out-of-character cover of the Hank Williams classic.

Your Squaw is on the Warpath is neither here nor there for me. I don’t hate the album but I didn’t feel the magic I felt with Don’t Come Home. This isn’t a bad album in the least just not one that blew me away. I still recommend you listen to it and come to your own conclusions.

Grade: B

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8 responses to “Album Review: Loretta Lynn – ‘Your Squaw Is On The Warpath’

  1. Paul W Dennis May 4, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Apparently your copy of the album was issued after the song “Barney” was deleted by the label (it used the melody of a Kent Cigarette commercial) – I’d give the album a B+

    • Ken May 4, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      “Barney” used the melody of a Salem Cigarette commercial. Their catchphrase was “you can take Salem out of the country but you can’t take the country out of Salem.”

      For “Barney” the lyric was changed to “you can take Barney out of the bar room but – you can’t take the bar out of Barney.” It was issued on the initial pressings of the LP but when the copyright holder objected it was withdrawn for subsequent pressings.

      • Occasional Hope May 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

        It sems bizarre today to have a cigarette commercial lauding the product as ‘country fresh’. Only a smoker could think that.

        • Ken May 6, 2016 at 8:06 pm

          I know it’s hard for folks to believe that were not around back in the day but there were all kinds of claims made about how cigarettes could provide benefits to your health and well being. Until the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease pretty much ended those charades. Tobacco ads were finally banned from TV and radio on January 2, 1971.

          Health hazards aside some of the most iconic American advertising slogans and commercial jingles were created by the tobacco industry. Many of them are posted to youtube. Quite a few used celebrity endorsements from TV & movie stars but the hardest to believe are the ones that used cartoon characters. The first run episodes of Flintstones aired on prime time TV during the 1960’s. The show was not regarded as purely a children’s program but considered to be for adults too. Here’s the original open & close of the show (before the Meet The Flintstones theme was adopted) with sponsor mentions and a commercial that actually ran within the show. Hard to believe that cartoon characters would smoke cigarettes!

  2. luckyoldsun May 4, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Interesting. The Barney song didn’t just use the Salem melody–it was a homage to the commercial!
    Usually these things seem to go in the other direction. First time I heard the Oak Ridge Boys’ “My Baby Is American Made” it sounded to me like they had adopted the “Miller Beer Is American Made” commercial song. Of course, the Oak Ridge Boys’ song had come first. Miller must have gotten permission to use it–and I’d bet that the songwriter or copyright owner made more money off the Miller jingle than off the original version.

  3. luckyoldsun May 5, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    On looking it up, I noticed that in the beer commercial, the lyric is actually “Miller’s made the American way,”–which is better than the way I wrote it above.

    The best instance of a country song (mis)appropriating an advertising slogan–It’s so bad, that it’s good–has to be the great Charlie Walker and his unfortunately named squeeze:

  4. Paul W Dennis May 6, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Re: Barney

    Never having been a smoker, I just couldn’t remember the brand name of the cigarette involved

    Charlie Walker recorded another song spun from a commercial “Little Old Wine Drinker Me” from some Gallo Winery advertisements. Dean Martiin also recorded the song as did actor Robert Mitchum. Mitchum’s version charted on the Billboard County chart

    In 1972 the great Bob Luman recorded “When You Say Love”, a song taken from Budweiser commercials. Luman’s version went to #6 on Billboard’s country chart (#5 Cashbox, #3 Record World) but it was even bigger than that in some markets – it spent three weeks at #1 on WHOO’s survey. If I’m not mistaken, Sonny & Cher also recorded the song, although I never actually heard their version of the song

  5. luckyoldsun May 6, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    As long as we’re talking about country songs based on TV commercials, I’ll mention three of the most successful ones: Buck Owens’ “I Got A Tiger By The Tail,” based on the Esso gasoline “Put A Tiger In Your Tank” advertisements; Jerry Lee Lewis “What Made Milwaukee Famous Has Made a Loser Out of Me,” from Schlitz’s “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous” trademark, and finally, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “He Think’s He’ll Keep Her,” from the early ’90s which played off of a Geritol vitamin commercial from the previous decade that a lot of women found offensive.
    Like the Charlie Walker song above, though, these were all completely original songs–the melodies or lyrics were not adopted from the commercials.

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