3 Songs You Didn’t Know Loretta Lynn’s Husband Oliver “Doo” Lynn Wrote

Loretta Lynn‘s thick songbook was charged with plenty of songs about her husband Oliver Vanetta Lynn Jr., whom she lovingly called “Doo”—short for “Doolittle”—recounting his adulterous ways on “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” and “Fist City” and heavy drinking with “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and “Wouldn’t It Be Great?” to the more heartfelt “I’m All He’s Got (But He’s Got All Of Me)” and “Love Is The Foundation.”

Despite their tumultuous marriage, which spanned 48 years, Oliver helped drive Loretta’s career, from buying her first guitar, getting her on the radio, and taking on the role of her talent manager for years. “I married Doo when I wasn’t but a child and he was my life from that day on,” said Lynn in her 2002 memoir Still Woman Enough. Lynn (née Webb) met Doo when she was 15 and he was 21. The two married in 1948, had six children and remained together through his death in 1996 at 69.

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“As important as my youth and upbringing was, there’s something else that made me stick to Doo,” added Lynn. “He thought I was something special, more special than anyone else in the world, and never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door.”

[RELATED: The Story Behind the Final Song Loretta Lynn Wrote for Her Husband “Doo”]

Throughout Lynn’s career, there were also a few songs that were also credited to Doo. Here’s a look at three of his contributions.

1. “The Haunted House” (1964)

Written by Oliver Lynn and Loretta Lynn

For her second album Before I’m Over You from 1964, Loretta wrote one track “Where Were You,” and Oliver penned “This Haunted House.” The song, also credited to Oliver, was written by Loretta shortly after the 1963 death of her friend and mentor Patsy Cline in 1963. “When I heard that morning that Patsy was gone, I said out loud, ‘What am I going to do?’” said Lynn. “It was like a rug had been pulled out from under me. She was my friend, my mentor, my strength.”

Following Patsy’s death, the Lynns visited Cline’s children Julie and Randy, and husband Charlie Dick. As Oliver talked to Charlie, Loretta felt inspired to write. Sat on the stairs to the recreation room in Patsy’s home, Loretta wrote “This Haunted House” within 20 minutes then played the song for Charlie on guitar.

I watched you leave, that’s how I know you’re gone
But this heart of mine keeps tellin’ me I’m wrong
I see your face before me every night
In this haunted house, when I turn off the light

Sometimes I hear you walk across the floor
And my arms reach out to hold you like before
I live for all the things we used to do
In this haunted house, I’m filled with love for you

This haunted house I’m livin’ in is killin’ me
And the ghost of your love won’t set me free
Each morning finds me cryin’ and alone
In this haunted house, we used to call our home

“This Haunted House” was never released as a single but reappeared on Lynn’s 1972 compilation Alone With You. “It was sad when we lost Patsy,” shared Lynn in 2009. “She was my only girlfriend at the time. She took me under her wing, and when I lost her, it was something else. I still miss her to this day.”

In 1977, Lynn released the tribute album I Remember Patsy, which included Cline’s 1961 No. 1 “I Fall to Pieces.” Lynn also released a rerecorded version of the Cline hit in 2020. 

2. “You’ve Made Me What I Am” (1965)

Written by Oliver Lynn

On her 1965 album Songs from My Heart... Lynn wrote two songs—”When Lonely Hits Your Heart” and “It Just Looks That Way”—and sang a remainder of tracks written by Bill Anderson, Roger Miller, Harland Howard, and other songwriters. The album also included a sole track by Doo, “You’ve Made Me What I Am.”

[RELATED: 5 Loretta Lynn Songs That Were Banned]

You say that I’m no angel, oh, I know it much too well
How can you look into my eyes and ask me why I failed?
You know that I still love you and I let you drag me down
How can you talk about me when you’ve made me what I am?

You’ve made me what I am, but look who everybody blames
When you know you’re the reason I hang my head in shame
Oh, you tell me to forget you and to stop my hanging ’round
I’d be ashamed if I were you, you’ve made me what I am

You never really loved me, but I found that out too late
I’ve tried to find a way to change my love for you to hate
You act like you don’t know me when there’s someone else around
How can you hold your head up when you’ve made me what I am?

3. “Trouble on the Line” (2004)

Written by Oliver Lynn and Loretta Lynn

When Lynn released Van Lear Rose in 2004, she was 72, while Jack White, who produced the album and appears throughout the tracks, was 28. The album features a song Lynn penned about Doo, “Miss Being Mrs,” honoring the life and family they built together. Oliver is also credited one final time on her albums on the ballad “Trouble on the Line,” a story of miscommunications in love.

I can’t understand a word you’re saying
We’ve got a bad connection on our minds
Communication’s one thing we never seem to find
Oh Lord I’m sorry, but there’s trouble on the line

All I get is static when we’re talking
You say my line is out of order all the time
We have nothing left in common
Your thoughts are not like mine
Oh Lord I’m sorry but there’s trouble on the line
There’s trouble on the line, from your heart to mine
Oh Lord I’m sorry but we’re not getting through

The storm keeps getting worse
Lord, we might as well quit trying
Oh Lord I’m sorry, but there’s trouble in the line

Van Lear Rose peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard 200 and went to No. 2 on the Country chart.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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